Carex molesta (Dewey) Mackenzie ex Lunell - Short-beaked Sedge


|  back  | forward |

Carex molesta - (image 1 of 5)



Family: Cyperaceae


Section Ovales  


Dry to wet, often heavy soil, usually in open habitats in calcareous areas.




Quebec to VA, TN, AL, and MS, west ND to OK; introduced in CA.


Tufted perennial, 20-100 cm, aphyllopodic; leaves firm, 2-4 mm wide, much shorter than stems; spikes mostly 2-4, gynaecandrous, stout, sessile, greenish-stramineous to light brown; bracts inconspicuous, shorter than the inflorescence; pistillate scales hyaline-scarious, with a firmer, often greenish midrib, narrower and tending to be shorter than the perigynia; perigynia crowded, stiffly ascending, 3.2-4.8 mm long, 1.3-1.7 times as long as wide, the body flattened, suborbicular, conspicuously nerved ventrally and dorsally, wing-margined all around and serrulate distally, abruptly contracted to the flattened, serrulate beak 0.8-1.5 mm; achene lenticular.


Fruiting June to August

Wetland indicator: FAC

This species is similar to C. brevior but the body of the perigynium is widest near the middle (vs. just below the middle) and distinctly nerved ventrally (vs. nearly nerveless ventrally). It is also more likely to be found in periodically wet habitats than C. brevior.


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