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Photo: Awned Sedge

Carex atherodes Spreng.

Awned Sedge

Habitat: Calcareous meadows, swales, and shores [Coastal non-tidal wetland (non-forested, wetland)]

Photo: Awned Sedge

Range: Circumboreal, south to Maine, West Virginia, Colorado, and Utah.

Aids to Identification: Members of this genus can be difficult to identify without careful examination of microscopic features and knowledge of general groups of species. Carex atherodes is characterized by stout, solitary stems, or a few growing together, to a height of 0.3-1.5 meters. The stems grow from long rhizomes, and the leaf blades closest to the base are reduced to scales. The other blades are 4-10 mm wide, with coarse hairs beneath toward the base of the blade. The perigynia have 12-20 ribs, lack hairs, and are flattened toward the beak. The beak is well-developed with 2 prominent teeth. The hairy leaves plus hairless perigynia distinguish this species from other Maine Carex.

Photo: Awned Sedge

Ecological characteristics: Unknown

Phenology: Perennial; fruits June - August.

Family: Cyperaceae

Synonyms: None noted

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 1 town(s) in the following county(ies): Knox.

Dates of documented observations are: 1920, 1998, 2000

Reason(s) for rarity: At southern limit of range.

Photo: Awned Sedge Leaf

Conservation considerations: The known population is in a wet meadow bisected by a road. Maintenance of the hydrology is presumably important in this plant's persistence.

For more information, see the New England Wild Flower Society's Conservation Plan for Carex atherodes -pdf link- 92 KB.