Carex gracilescens Steud. - Slender Loose-flowered Sedge


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Carex gracilescens - (image 1 of 2)



Family: Cyperaceae


Section Laxiflorae


Sandy or rocky woods or woodland edges in part shade, often in calcareous soil.




Quebec and VT to GA and northwest FL, west to WI, eastern NE, and eastern OK.


Tufted perennial; stems 20-80 cm, the fertile mostly roughened on the angles; basal sheaths purple; leaves not glaucous, 1-5 mm wide, those of the sterile shoots sometimes to 10 mm wide; angles of the bract-sheaths usually minutely ciliate-serrate; terminal spike staminate, 6-25 mm wide, subsessile or pedunculate; pistillate spike 2-4, scattered but none basal, slender, 1-3 cm long; pistillate scales cuspidate to short-awned; perigynia 4-18, 2.2-3 mm, two ribbed and with many fine nerves, obtusely trigonous, ellipsoid to obovoid, abruptly contracted to a short, abruptly bent beak without teeth at the apex; achene trigonous.


Fruiting May to June

Wetland indicator: NA

Similar to C. blanda in that the perigynium has a short and abruptly bent beak but more slender and the plants purple at the base. Might be mistaken for C. ormostachya which has the angles of the bract sheaths merely glandular and not ciliate-serrate.


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