PEST SEDGE
File Size: 47 KB
 
Carex molesta  Mack. ex  Bright
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 10-40 inches
Family: Cyperaceae - Sedge Family
Flowering Period:   May, June
Culms: Erect, stout, strongly triangular, concealed in persistent bases of old leaves.
Leaves: Blades 4-7, flat, thin, elongate, pale green, less than 1/8 inch wide, glabrous; margins rough.
Sheaths: Tight, inner surface whitish transparent, outer surface green and white spotted.
Inflorescences: Spikes, bisexual, 2-5, sessile, closely clustered, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, nearly spherical; pistillate flowers above staminate flowers; bracts mostly scale-like; pistillate scales lanceolate, barely reaching bases of perigynia beaks; margins light brown; centers green; tips blunt or pointed; perigynia 15-30 per spike, broadly ovate, firm, flattened, green, outer face faintly nerved, inner face finely nerved; beaks less than 1/3 length of body, 2-toothed.
Fruits: Achenes, lens-shaped, yellowish brown, 1-seeded; stigmas 2, short, reddish brown.
Habitat: Dry or moist upland prairies, bottom ground, open thickets or woodlands, shorelines, and ditches.
Distribution: Principally east 1/2 of Kansas.
Comments: As inferred by its name, pest sedge can be somewhat weedy. Carex molesta closely resembles Carex brevoir. The 2 species occasionally intergrade.

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