Carex platyphylla J. Carey - Broad-leaved Sedge


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Carex platyphylla - (image 1 of 3)



Family: Cyperaceae


Section Careyanae 


Mesic woodlands, often under maple and beech.




ME and southern Quebec west to WI, south VA to MO and in mountains to NC.


Tufted perennial to 40 cm; fertile stems lateral, roughened on the angle; sheaths and staminate scales pale green or brownish, not purplish; leaves glaucous (waxy), the larger ones over 17 mm wide; leaves of the sterile shoots mostly 10-25 mm wide, while those of the fertile shoots shorter and rarely over 6 mm wide; staminate spikelets pedunculate; perigynia trigonous, sharply triangular. 


Fruiting April to May

Wetland indicator: NA

The specific epithet refers to the wide leaves of this sedge: platy = broad, phyll = leaf. A similar species with non-waxy leaves, winged stems, and obtusely trigonous perigynia is C. albursina E. Sheld. Carex plataginea also has non-waxy leaves in addition to having mostly bladeless leaves on the fertile stems (culms).


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


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.


USDA, NRCS. 2002. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (

National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.




Michael Hough 2004