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James' Sedge is easy to identify because of the unique appearance of its clustered spikelets. In particular, the pistillate scales are unusually long and leafy, while the culms are unusually short. Perhaps the most similar sedge is Carex wildenowii (Wildenow's Sedge), which is found in southern Illinois. The perigynium of this latter species tapers gradually from its main body to form a long beak, while the perigynium of James' Sedge tapers abruptly from its main body to form a long beak. Unlike James' Sedge, Wildenow's Sedge has staminate scales with slender tips, and its pistillate scales are smaller in size. Another common name of Carex jamesii is Grass Sedge. This woodland sedge develops early in the spring and blooms before the canopy trees have fully developed their leaves.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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