Carex pseudocyperus L. - Cyperus-like Sedge


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Carex pseudocyperus - (image 1 of 2)



Family: Cyperaceae


Section Vesicariae


Swamps, shores, wet thickets.




Newfoundland to Saskatchewan, south to PA, OH, MI, WI, and MN; also occurs in Eurasia.


Tufted perennial from a short, stout rhizome; stems stout, 30-100 cm; basal sheaths pale brown (rarely faintly red-tinged); lowest bracts often much surpassing the inflorescence; main leaves 5-15 mm wide; pistillate spike approximate or the lowest separate, 3-7 cm long and about 1 cm thick, spreading or drooping, the lowest long-peduncled, the peduncles of the upper spikes shorter; pistillate scales with a very small, reddish-brown body, the midvein pale and excurrent into an awn nearly as long to longer than the perigynium; perigynia more or less reflexed, 4.2-6.2 mm, firm and only slightly or scarcely inflated, obtusely trigonous, stipitate, slenderly ovoid, gradually tapering to a long beak with more or less straight, parallel teeth 0.6-1 mm long; stigmas 3; achenes pale brown, trigonous, smooth.


Fruiting June to August

Wetland indicator: OBL

This species is similar to C. comosa but smaller and more slender, with the teeth of the perigynia straight or only slightly out-curved (vs. strongly out-curved). Despite the similarity to C. comosa and the fact that the two often occur together, C. pseudocyperus is more likely to hybridize with C. hystericina; such hybrids resemble C. pseudocyperus but are sterile and have slightly more inflated and less reflexed perigynia, and have more strongly red-tinged basal sheaths.


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