Carex swanii (Fern.) Mack. - Downy Green Sedge


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Carex swanii - (image 1 of 6)



Family: Cyperaceae


Section Porocystis


Dry woods and fields.




Nova Scotia to WI, south to NC and AR.


Tufted perennial to 1 m, reddish-purple at the base; leaves 2-4 mm wide, hairy, often exceeding the stems; terminal spike pistillate at the top, staminate below; pistillate spikes 1-2 cm, ellipsoid or thick-cylindric, densely flowered; anthers 0.7-1.5 mm; pistillate scales much shorter than the perigynia but often ending in a cusp equaling the perigynia; perigynia obscurely trigonous, 1.8-2.5 mm, beakless; achene trigonous; stigmas 3.


Fruiting May to June

Wetland indicator: FACU

Carex virescens is similar but has elongate spikes (2-4 cm) that are loosely flowered at the base and larger anthers (1.5-2.5 cm). Might be mistaken for C. hirsutella which has smooth perigynia.


Curtis, L. 2006. Woodland Carex of the upper Midwest. Lake Villa, IL.


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.




Michael Hough 2010