Carex muehlenbergii Schkuhr ex Willd. - Sand Sedge


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Carex muehlenbergii - (image 1 of 3)



Family: Cyperaceae


Section Phaestoglochin


Dry grasslands or open woods, in sterile or sandy soil.




ME to MN, south to FL, NE, and TX.


Tufted perennial; stems slender, stiff and wiry, 20-100 cm, usually much surpassing the leaves; leaves flat, thick, 2-5 mm wide; inflorescence ovoid to cylindric, 2-4 cm; spikes androgynous, ovoid or subglobose, 5-8 mm, crowded, the lower often separated but still overlapping; scales greenish, ovate, acute to acuminate or cuspidate; perigynia 8-20, greenish, 3-4 mm, broadly ovate, planoconvex, 1/2 to 3/4 as wide as long and the body often suborbicular, strongly 5-11-nerved dorsally, nerved or nerveless ventrally, abruptly narrowed to a round-margined beak 1/4 to 1/3 as long as the body.


Fruiting May to July

Wetland indicator: NA

Typical C. muehlenbergii has pistillate scales 2.5-3.6 mm long and perigynia 3-4.2 mm long, the latter 5-9-veined or veinless ventrally. The possibly less common var. enervis Boott has pistillate scales 2-2.5 mm long and perigynia that are 2.7-3.1 mm long and veinless ventrally.


Ball, P.W. and A.A. Reznicek. 2002. Carex, In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, Eds. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 23. Oxford University Press, New York.


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