MEAD'S SEDGE
File Size: 60 KB
 
Carex meadii  Dewey
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 8-20 inches
Family: Cyperaceae - Sedge Family
Flowering Period:   April, May
Culms: Erect, stout, stiff, triangular; bases usually pale brown.
Leaves: Blades mostly basal, 6-10, flat, stiff, to 1/4 inch wide, grayish green, glabrous; margins rough.
Sheaths: Tight, usually pale brown.
Inflorescences: Spikes, unisexual; terminal spike solitary, staminate, club-shaped, to 1.5 inch long, less than 1/6 inch thick, long-stalked; staminate scales blunt, purplish brown with transparent margins and green centers; lateral spikes 1-3, pistillate, oblong-cylindric, up to 1.25 inch long, about .25 inch thick, stalked or uppermost nearly sessile, occasionally with male flowers in upper portion; bracts subtending spikes leaf-like, shorter than inflorescence; pistillate scales broadly ovate, usually shorter than perigynia; margins purplish to reddish brown; midribs green; short-awned; perigynia 8-30 per spike, usually in 6 rows, mostly overlapping, 3-sided, many-nerved, yellowish green to brownish; beaks minute, slightly bent.
Fruits: Achenes, triangular, dark brown, 1-seeded; stigmas 3.
Habitat: Open, dry or damp upland prairies and wet meadows, most abundant on limestone or chalk soils.
Distribution: Principally east 1/2 of Kansas.
Comments: Named for Samuel Barnum Mead, (1798-1880), a U.S. botanist and physician.

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