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Carex inops  Bailey  subsp. heliophila  (Mack. ) Crins
[=Carex heliophila Mack.]
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Height: 4 - 14 inches
Family: Cyperaceae - Sedge Family
Flowering Period:   April, May, June
Also Called: Prairie sedge.
Culms: Stiff, triangular, usually longer than leaves, rough on angles beneath inflorescence; leaf bases from previous year persisting; sterile shoots often present.
Leaves: 5 to 10 per culm, ascending to outward arched, 2 to 14 inches long, 1/25 to 1/8 inch wide, rather stiff; margins harshly rough, usually rolled under; base grooved.
Sheaths: Tight, green with transparent band on inner surface.
Ligules: Short, V-shaped.
Inflorescences: Spikes; terminal spike staminate, occasionally staminate and pistillate, nearly sessile, linear, 1/3 to 4/5 inch long, 1/8 to 1/5 inch wide; lateral spikes 1-3, pistillate, sessile, close to one another, ovate to nearly circular in outline, 1/6 to 2/5 inch long; lowermost bract leaf-like, shorter than inflorescence; staminate scales elliptic to lanceolate, 1/7 to 1/6 inch long, usually purplish-red or brown; margins white; tip blunt to tapering-pointed; pistillate scales ovate, 1/10 to 1/5 inch long, about equaling perigynia, dark brown to purplish black; midrib green; tip blunt to tapering-pointed with sharp, firm apex; perigynia 4-15, usually few, nearly round, 1/10 to 1/6 inch long, 1/16 to 1/12 inch wide, pale green, minutely-pubescent, abruptly contracted to beak about 1/3 length of body; beak 2-toothed, sometimes purplish.
Fruits: Achene, triangular, less than 1/12 inch wide, brown, 1-seeded; stigmas 3, reddish-brown.
Habitat: Upland prairies, pastures, thickets, occasionally open woods; open, well-drained sandy, loamy, and loess soils.
Distribution: East three fifths of Kansas
Origin: Native
Uses: The Navajo used a cold tea of the plant to relieve discomfort from overeating.
Comments: Forms clumps.

Plains sedge leaves
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Plains sedge
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Plains sedge
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas