Bog Sedges   3 comments

The Bog: Sedges

 

 

Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)

 

  Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyperaceae

Carex flava (Yellow Sedge)

Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CAFL4

 

 

 

 

 

   

    

The culms (Stems), about 0.75 meters high, are erect early in the season and tend to bend over as time progresses. The yellow, elliptical, reproductive spikes (2-5) develop toward the end of the stem. They are about 3 cm long and 10 mm wide. Up to 5 leaves, about 40 cm long and 10 mm wide, extend from the stem. The Perigynia are about 7 mm long and 1.5 mm wide.

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Carex folliculata (Northern Long Sedge)

 

Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CAFO6

 
 
 
 

  

 

 

The  stems (Culms), about 70 cm high, are solid and triangular in cross-section. The stems tend to bend downward towards the end of the season. There are about 7 relatively wide  leaves(Each about 6 mm in width) arising from the stem. One large Reproductive Spike, about 2 cm wide, is often attached to the top of the stem. In one specimen I counted 14 Perigynia in the terminal cluster. Each Perigynium was about 10 mm long and 4 mm wide. A thin male reproductive spike extends above the Perigynia. This species is most abundant in the wet forest next to the bog proper, however it also grows in the bog.

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Carex pauciflora (Few Flower Sedge)

 

Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carex_pauciflora

Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CAPA19

 

The few flower sedge has erect stems, about 1 meter high, with 1-2 leaves. The terminal part of the stem bears 2-3 Perigynia, about 6 mm long,  that point downwards. The male reproductive spike points upward. This species was only found in the West Quoddy Head bog.

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Carex stricta (Tussock Sedge)

 

Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carex_stricta

Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CAST8

 

 

 

Tussock sedge forms characteristic clumps about 2/3 of a meter wide. New clumps are formed asexually from underground stems (Rhizomes). At the end of the season the leaves die  and stay at the base of the plant forming a ring. The upright stems are about 1 meter tall and bear 3-4 female reproductive spikes, each about 2.5 cm long and 2-3 male reproductive spikes about the same length. The Perigynia are about 5 mm long and 1 mm wide. Tussock sedge seeds are consumed by a variety of birds and mammals. In addition, the tussocks serve as a nesting site for a variety of birds such as the red-winged blackbird.

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 Carex trisperma (Three-seeded Bog Sedge)

 

Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CATRT3

 

  

The three-seeded bog sedge is the thinnest of the bog sedges and outwardly appears grass like.  Stems , about 40 cm long, arch downward. It generally grows in clumps. The narrow leaves (0.3 to 0.5 mm wide) are about 15 cm long. 1-4 reproductive spikes emerge towards the top of the stem. Each spike has about 1-5 Perigynia, each about 3.5 mm long and 1.5 mm wide. Although this species is most abundant in the wet forest next to the bog; it also is a common bog plant.

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Carex spp.

 

 

 

 

 

This species is found in all the bogs that I visited, however I was unable to key it to species. It resembles Carex tribuloides. The erect, triangular stem is about 55 cm tall and 1.5 mm wide. The thin (about 2mm wide) leaves are in-rolled and the longest are about 20 cm in length. The oval reproductive spikes are about 9 mm long and 4.5 mm wide. The thin, wafer-like Perigynia are about 5mm long and 1.5 mm wide. 

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Dulichium arundinaceum (Three-way Sedge)

 

Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dulichium_arundinaceum

Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DUAR3

 

The Three-way Sedge grows asexually from a well developed series of underground stems (Rhizomes). The stems are about 1 meter in height. Leaves (about 4 cm long and 5 mm wide) extend laterally from the stem. Lance-shaped Reproductive Spikes (somewhat yellowish) extend from the leaf axilla.

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The following sedges are described in the Bog Border section: Carex crinata, Carex echinata and Carex vulpinoidea.

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Eriophorum angustifolium (Tall Cotton Grass)

 

 Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eriophorum_angustifolium

 

Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ERAN6

 
 
 
 
 

 

Leaves are flat and narrow. The stem is upright and extends about 0.8 meters above the heath surface. The plant reproduces asexually from underground stems (Rhizomes) and sexually through seed production in silky white, cotton-like flower heads. The white cotton-like threads are actually bristles that form on the flowers. Although this and two other species are called grasses, they are actually sedges. They appear in Late July to the end of August. Concoctions made from leaves and roots have been used as an astringent.

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Eriophorum virginicum (Tawny Cotton Grass)

 

Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eriophorum 

Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ERVI8

 

 

 

 

The leaves are flat and narrow. The stem is upright, extending up to 1 meter above the bog surface. The silky cotton-like flower bristles have a reddish brown copper tinge. They appear from the middle of July to the end of August.

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Eriophorum vaginatum (Tussock Cotton Grass)

 

 Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eriophorum_vaginatum

Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ERVA4

  

    

 

 

 

 

Leaves are flat and narrow. The stem is upright extending about 0.4 meters above the bog surface. . The leaves and stem die back each year while the leaf bases remain green. The decomposing foliage releases nutrients that can be reused. The roots form a dense mat around the base of the plant forming a tussock raised above ground level. The net effect of this growth pattern is to make the plant root bound, slowing growth. Some tussocks have been estimated to be over 100 years old. The silky, cotton-like flower bristles are white. The plants provide food for a variety of animals such as geese, grouse, and squirrels. They appear in the early part of the summer and quickly die back.

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Rhynchospora alba (White Beak-Rush)

 

Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhynchospora_alba 

Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=RHAL3

 

 

 

 

The White Beak-Rush stem extends about 0.3 to 0.6 meters above the bog surface. Terminal spikelets are white throughout  August and turn brownish in the fall. It is a common bog inhabitant.

  

 

Posted February 7, 2011 by zottoli

3 responses to “Bog Sedges

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  1. Enjoyed your whole series. Nice detailed pictures. Your unknown sedge may be Carex scoparia. Was at a bog in Jackson County, WI yesterday and found my first pitcher plant. Very exciting!

  2. A very nice series, excellent pictures. Yes I would agree the unknown Carex is most likely scoparia.CC.ccron72@

  3. Reviewed the Ovales group of sedges again: scoparia is the most common of this group in Nova Scotia bogs. Tribuloides has a winged margin down to the base of the perigynia; I cannot tell if the clear margin on the perigynia is large enough to be considered a wing or not and the base is not visible. You may be correct and this could be tribuloides. I now see how difficult this is to tell and believe you are right to call it Carex spp.CC

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