Carex meadii Dewey

Mead's Sedge


CC = 6
CW = 0
MOC = 70

© SRTurner

Family - Cyperaceae

Habit - Monoecious sedge, with long-creeping rhizomes, forming colonies of tufts.

Stems - Flowering stems to +/-40cm tall, erect, sharply 3-angled, glabrous, light bluish-green, often glaucous, typically single from the base, from creeping rhizomes.

Carex_meadii_rhizomes.jpg Rhizomes.

© DETenaglia

Leaves - Alternate, sheathing, to +/-10cm long, 3-7mm broad, glabrous.

Carex_meadii_sheath.jpg Leaf sheath.

© DETenaglia

Inflorescence - Staminate spikes superior to the pistillate, to 4cm long, -5mm in diameter. Pistillate spikes on short stalks or sessile, to +/-3cm long, 5-9mm in diameter, with 8-30 fruits.

Carex_meadii_inflorescence.jpg Inflorescences.

© DETenaglia

Carex_meadii_flowers.jpg Inflorescences: staminate above, pistillate below.

© SRTurner

Flowers - Perigynia light green to yellowish or brownish, plump, widest above the middle (obovate), +/-4mm long, -3mm broad, with a slightly bent beak. Styles 3, withering in fruit.

Carex_meadii_staminate_flowers.jpg Close-up of staminate inflorescence.

© DETenaglia

Carex_meadii_pistillate_flowers.jpg Close-up of pistillate inflorescence.

© DETenaglia

Carex_meadii_fruits.jpg Close-up of perigynia.

© DETenaglia

Flowering - March - June.

Habitat - Limestone and dolomite glades, bluffs, upland prairies, openings of dry upland forests, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to the U.S.

Lookalikes - Other sedges.

Other info. - Although this species can be found throughout much of Missouri, it is most common in the Ozark region where it is a characteristic glade and dry upland species. The plant is easy to identify because of its habitat, its light green-blue stems, and its long rhizomes. The plump, light-colored fruits are another good character to use for identification. The plant is sometimes found in more mesic areas and will grow taller and less erect than in the dry locations.

Photographs taken in Eminence, MO., 5-24-03, and in the Piney Creek Wilderness, Barry County, MO., 4-4-04 (DETenaglia); also at Indian Trail Conservation Area, Dent County, MO, 5-4-2013, and Danville Conservation Area, Montgomery County, MO, 5-6-2017 (SRTurner).