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Photo: Carex bicknellii

Carex bicknellii Britt.

Bicknell's Sedge

Habitat: Open woods, fields, meadows in moist or dry soil. [Old field/roadside (non-forested wetland or upland)]

Range: Maine south to Delaware , west to New Mexico , North to Saskatchewan .

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. Bicknell's sedge is a member of the section Ovales, a group identified by its dense roundish head of fruits and perigynia (the inflated sac that enclosed the achene) with thin, winged margins. Bicknell's sedge has thin perigynia that are 2.2-4.8 mm wide and 4.2-7.0 mm long and exceed the length of the obtuse carpellate scales. There are fewer than 25 culms per clump and the leaf sheath is minutely hairy.

Photo: Carex bicknellii perigynia

Ecological characteristics: Carex bicknellii responds well to fire and disturbance. Maine populations are represented by C. bicknellii var. bicknellii.

Phenology: Fruiting June through July.

Family: Cyperaceae

Synonyms: Formerly known as Carex straminea var. crawei Boot.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 1 town in the following county: Penobscot.

Dates of documented observations are: 1931, 1999

Reason(s) for rarity: At northeast edge of range.

Conservation considerations: The population seems to be persisting at only known location in Maine. The population is located on disturbed ground adjacent to railroad tracks. Plant appears to favor disturbance.