Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Carex utriculata Boott.
CYPERACEAE (Sedge Family)
EtymologyCarex is the classical Latin name for sedge; utriculata is Latin for: with bladders.
Synonyms (Common Name)Bottle Sedge
DescriptionBeaked sedge is a medium-tall, perennial sedge that grows to 4' high, often forming dense colonies. Male and female flowers occur on separate spikes. The female spikes, which are below the male spikes, are large (to 4" long), erect, and cylindrical.
Wetland indicator statusOBL
Plant Heightto 4 feet
LeavesYellow-green, 3/16-1/2" wide, smooth upper surface, partitioned by both longitudinal and horizontal veins for a net-like effect (septate-nodulose); leafy bracts subtending pistillate spikes are elongate, sheathless or nearly so.
Flower/InflorescenceUpper spikes male, lower spikes female. Staminate (M): 2-3, erect, to 2 3/4" long, thin-cylindrical. Pistillate (F): 2-3, cylindrical, to 4" long, nearly 1/2"" thick, erect, sessile (lowest spike may be stalked), scales tapering to a narrow, short awn; perigynia dense, numerous in 8+ rows, spreading at maturity, generally yellowish-green, oval to egg-shaped, with smooth bidentate beak.
FruitAchene, triangular, yellow; style persistent, bony, twisted.
Fruiting PeriodJuly-September.
HabitatFens, swamps, marshes, wet meadows.
RangeNewfoundland to Alaska; south to Delaware, Nebraska, New Mexico, California.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett