FloraFinder.org
Home   About Us   Want to Help?   FAQ  
Searching   Image Use Biblio

Carex gynandra

Carex gynandra Schwein.

Carex crinita Lam. var. gynandra (Schwein.) Schwein. & Torr.

Nodding Sedge

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassCommelinidaeDayflowers and spiderworts, and several others
OrderCyperalesFlowering plants including grasses
FamilyCyperaceaeSedge family
GenusCarexThe “true” sedges
SpeciesgynandraSpeculative: “gyn-” is Latin for woman; “andros” for man. This might refer to that male and female flowers occur on separate spikes

About plant names...

These sedges are native to North America.

Plant: Nodding sedge is up to 4½' (1.4 m) high, though specimens I have seen are a good deal shorter. Stems are triangular in cross section. They usually occur in tufts.

Flowers/seeds: Each stem supports two to five arched, narrow, cylindrical drooping carpellate seed spikes up to 4" (10 cm) in length and ⅛-¼" (3-9 mm) in diameter. Each stem also contains up to three staminate spikes.

Leaves: Leaves are U-shaped, grass-like, up to ⅜" (1 cm) wide.

Carex gynandra is easily confused with, and often found near, C. crinita. “Easily confused” is something of an understatement: distinguishing these species requires a hand lens or scanner and a penchant for obscure botanical terminology. Scholarly papers have been written to provide evidence that they really are different.

 

Carex gynandra (Nodding Sedge)

6/16/2013 · Birch Point State Park, Owl’s Head, ME
≈ 6 × 7" (14 × 17 cm)

Carex gynandra (Nodding Sedge)

7/6/2017 · Mt. Watatic, access road, Ashby, MA
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 15 cm)

 
Carex crinita
You are here
Carex gynandra
Common Name

Drooping Sedge

Nodding Sedge
Plant Up to 4½' (1.4 m) tall. Up to 4½' (1.4 m) tall.
Flowers Drooping narrow cylindrical heads up to 4½" (11 cm) long and ¼" (7 mm) in diameter. Carpellate scales are pale, truncate to notched at apex, with rough-textured awns. 1-3 staminate spikes per stem. 2-5 carpellate narrow, cylindrical spikes per stem. Each spike is ⅞-4" (2.4-10 cm) long, ⅛-¼" (3-9 mm) in diameter. Scales on the carpels are pale- to copper brown. There are 1-3 staminate spikes per stem.
Leaves M or U-shaped in cross-section, ⅛-⅜" (4-10 mm) wide. ⅛-⅜" (4-10 mm) wide, U-shaped.
Stem Triangular stem cross-section. Basal leaf sheaths are smooth. Rough-textured, with a triangular cross-section. Basal leaf sheaths are rough.
Fruit Perigynia are spreading, slightly inflated obovoid (widest above the middle and truncate), ¹/₁₆-⅛" (2-4 mm) long. Perigynia are oval-shaped, tapering to a small beak.
Range/ Zones

Habitats Bottomland prairies, moist upland prairies, margins of bodies of water, spring branches, fens. Marshes, wet forests, swamps, seeps, and roadside ditches. Perhaps a little more weedy and abundant in acidic soils than C. crinita.
Type Wild Wild

 

Carex gynandra (Nodding Sedge)

Like most Carex, stems are triangular in cross section. This one is rather squashed from cutting.

Carex gynandra (Nodding Sedge)

Carpellate spikes (left) are the most prominent. Staminate spikes (right) are smaller and may not persist for as long.

Carex gynandra (Nodding Sedge)

The carpellate spike consists of pistillate scales, (left), with awns that have notched tips; and perigynia (right). Each perigynium houses a developing achene (seed). This plant was found in the fall, but in the spring, tiny pistallate (female) flowers emerge, like sinuous filaments, from the beak of perigynium.

Carex gynandra (Nodding Sedge)

Representative perigynia, achenes, and scales. Carex crinita (left): pistillate scale (a), perigynium (b), achene (g); C. gynandra (right): pistillate scale (c), perigynium (d), achenes (e, g). Standley, Lisa A., “A Clarification of the Status of Carex crinita and C. gynandra,” Rhodora, Journal of the New England Botanical Club, 1983, Vol. 85, No. 841.

Online References:

“A Clarification of the Status of Carex crinita and C. gynandra,” Rhodora, Journal of the New England Botanical Club, 1983, Vol. 85, No. 841 on www.biodiversitylibrary.org

Carex gynandra on Missouriplants.com

Carex gynandra at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Carex gynandra on the USDA Plants Database

Carex gynandra at Illinois Wildflowers

Carex gynandra at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Carex gynandra at the U.S. Geological Survey's Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

Carex gynandra at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium

Carex gynandra on eFloras

References:

Arsenault, Matt; Mittelhauser, Glen H.; Cameron, Don; Dibble, Alison C.; Haines, Arthur; Rooney, Sally C.; and Weber, Jill E., Sedges of Maine: A Field Guide to Cyperaceae, University of Maine Press, 2013, p. 376

Knobel, Edward, Field Guide to the Grasses, Sedges and Rushes of the United States, Dover Publications Inc., 1980, p. 69

Carex gynandra (Nodding Sedge)

7/23/2017 · Pine Grove Furnace State Park, PA
≈ 4½ × 7" (12 × 18 cm)

Carex gynandra (Nodding Sedge)

6/21/2017 · Pearl Hill State Park, Townsend, MA
≈ 6 × 10" (16 × 24 cm)

Carex gynandra (Nodding Sedge)

6/16/2013 · Birch Point State Park, Owl’s Head, ME
≈ 6 × 9" (15 × 22 cm)

Carex gynandra description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 2 Aug 2017.

© FloraFinder.org. All rights reserved.


 

Carex gynandra (Nodding Sedge)

7/6/2017 · Mt. Watatic, access road, Ashby, MA
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 15 cm)

Carex gynandra (Nodding Sedge)

7/6/2017 · Mt. Watatic, access road, Ashby, MA
≈ 3 × 5" (8.4 × 12 cm)

Carex gynandra (Nodding Sedge)

6/16/2013 · Birch Point State Park, Owl’s Head, ME
≈ 6 × 8" (14 × 20 cm)

Carex gynandra (Nodding Sedge)

9/18/2016 · Edgar M. Tennis Preserve, Deer Isle, ME ID is uncertain

Carex gynandra (Nodding Sedge)

9/29/2012 · Franconia Notch Area, NH
≈ 3 × 4½" (7.9 × 11 cm) ID is uncertain

Carex gynandra (Nodding Sedge)

7/23/2017 · Pine Grove Furnace State Park, PA
≈ 5 × 6" (13 × 16 cm)

Carex gynandra (Nodding Sedge)

8/8/2015 · Mt. Wachusett
≈ 7 × 5" (18 × 12 cm) ID is uncertain

Carex gynandra (Nodding Sedge)

8/8/2015 · Mt. Wachusett
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Range:

About this map...