Carex cryptolepis Mack. - Northeastern Sedge


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Carex cryptolepis - (image 1 of 2)



Family: Cyperaceae


Section Ceratocystis


Wet meadows and shores. Some sources suggest that it is specifically not found in calcareous areas, however these plants were found growing in a wet calcareous meadow with Symphyotrichum boreale.




Newfoundland to MN, south to NJ, OH, and IN.


Tufted perennial, 20-60 cm; stem surpassing the leaves; leaves 1.5-3.5 mm wide; pistillate scales lance-ovate, about equaling the body of the perigynium and therefore inconspicuous, yellowish green; perigynia greenish to yellowish or golden-brown, 3.2-4.8 mm, reflexed, contracted to the smooth beak 1.3-2.3 mm long.


Fruiting June to August

Wetland indicator: OBL

Differs from C. flava and C. viridula in that the pistillate scales are similar in color to the perigynia rather than a contrasting brownish color. Plants from the Great Lakes region of MI, IN, and OH with larger perigynia with serrulate beaks have been recently recognized as C. viridistellata Derieg, Reznicek, & Bruederle


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY




Michael Hough 2018