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Carex vestita Willd.

Clothed Sedge

Habitat: Dry sandy woods and clearings [Dry barrens (partly forested, upland)]

Range: Maine south to Virginia.

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 vestita is a stiff, slender sedge growing to a height of 40-80 cm. The lowest leaf blades of the plant are reduced to scales, while the other blades are 3-5 mm wide. Perigynia are ovoid, densly hairy, and tapering to a long beak. The beak is soft, thin, and transluscent, and lacks the 2 prominant, stiff teeth found on the other members of Paludosae (the section to which the sedge belongs).

Ecological characteristics: This plant occurs in disturbed areas in southern Maine.

Phenology: Perennial; fruits May - July.

Family: Cyperaceae

Synonyms: None noted

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 4 town(s) in the following county(ies): Cumberland, York.

Dates of documented observations are: 1896, 1898, 1933, 1998 (2), 1997, 1999, 2000

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

Conservation considerations: This sedge occurs in dry, semi-open conditions; suitable habitat is sometimes provided by artificial habitats such as powerline rights-of-way. Persistence of the plant can apparently be compatible with maintenance of these habitats, but maintenance activities should be planned with the species in mind where possible.