Comprehensive Description

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This is one of the "bottlebrush" sedges of wetland habitats. Species in this group of sedges have pistillate spikelets that are cylindrical and spiky in appearance; they can be difficult to distinguish from each other. In particular, Porcupine Sedge closely resembles Carex lurida (Sallow Sedge) and Carex comosa (Bottlebrush Sedge). Sallow Sedge has larger perigynia (greater than 6 mm. in length & 2.5 mm. in width) and shorter pedicels (less than ¼" long); its pistillate spikelets don't droop from their pedicels to the same extent as the pistillate spikelets of Porcupine Sedge. Bottlebrush Sedge differs in having longer teeth at the upper tips of its perigynia (greater than 1 mm. in length) and its achenes are ovoid in shape, rather than obovoid. Other similar sedges in this group have pistillate scales that lack awns. Some authors refer to Porcupine Sedge as Carex hystricina, but this is a misspelling of its scientific name.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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