Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Carex comosa Boott.
CYPERACEAE (Sedge Family)
EtymologyCarex is the classical Latin name for sedge;comosa is Latin for hairy.
Synonyms (Common Name)Bottlebrush Sedge, Bearded Sedge
DescriptionBristly sedge is a medium (2 1/2-3'), perennial sedge with stout stems and conspicuous drooping, bristly, cylindrical spikes on slender stalks. The spikes are light green or straw colored. Male and female flowers are on separate spikes
Wetland indicator statusOBL
Plant Height2.5-3 feet
Leaves1/8- 3/8" wide, may have horizontal veins partitioning longitudinal veins for a net-like effect (septate-nodulose), leafy bracts elongate, lowest bract longer than inflorescence.
Flower/InflorescenceMale and female flowers on separate spikes. Staminate (M): single terminal spike, to 2 3/8" long. Pistillate (F): 2-7, drooping, bristly, long, thick, cylindrical (1 3/4" long x 1/2" wide), close together on the stem; scales awned, perigynia (inflated sacs enclosing pistil or achene) numerous and tightly-packed, 3/16-7/16" long, elongate, tapering to slender beak with long, divergent-curved teeth.
FruitAchene triangular; style persistent, bony, straight (seldom twisted).
Fruiting PeriodJune-September.
HabitatBogs, swamps, pond margins, wet meadows.
RangeQuebec to Minnesota; south to Florida and Louisiana.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett