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Carex intumescens

Carex intumescens Rudge

Carex intumescens Rudge var. fernaldii L.H. Bailey

Bladder Sedge, Greater Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge, Swollen Sedge

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
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
SpeciesintumescensLatin for “swollen”

About plant names...

Bladder sedge is a North American native. Often found near water, it is also found at forest edges.

Plant: These small grass-like plants are typically less than 12" (30 cm) high.

Leaves: Leaves are dark, parallel-veined, 4-10" (10-25 cm) long, ⅛-¼" (3.5-8 mm) wide.

Flowers/seeds: During April-June, curiously shaped inflorescences appear, roughly spherical or corncob-shaped, ¾-6" (2-15 cm) long, looking like several green teardrops connected at the fat end, pointing in all directions. Each teardrop is a perigynium up to ⅝" (1.6 cm) long, containing a seed (achene) about ⅛" (5 mm) long. The perigynia are larger than most, an aid to identifcation.

Carex intumescens is sometimes confused with C. folliculata, but the perigynia of the latter aren’t as fat.

Online References:

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

Carex intumescens on YouTube Video footage

Carex intumescens at the University of Michigan Herbarium

Carex intumescens at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Carex intumescens 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. 326

Carex intumescens (Bladder Sedge, Greater Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge, Swollen Sedge)

6/26/2014 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 6" (16 × 14 cm)

Carex intumescens (Bladder Sedge, Greater Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge, Swollen Sedge)

8/18/2010 · J. Harry Rich Woods, off Nod Rd., Groton, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Carex intumescens (Bladder Sedge, Greater Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge, Swollen Sedge)

6/26/2014 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 15 cm)

Carex intumescens (Bladder Sedge, Greater Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge, Swollen Sedge)

9/29/2016 · Henry E. Cowdrey Nature Center, Lunenberg, MA

Carex intumescens (Bladder Sedge, Greater Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge, Swollen Sedge)

5/31/2016 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Pepperell, MA

Carex intumescens (Bladder Sedge, Greater Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge, Swollen Sedge)

5/20/2012 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Groton, MA
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 15 cm)

Carex intumescens (Bladder Sedge, Greater Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge, Swollen Sedge)

6/2/2010 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Groton, MA
≈ 5 × 8" (13 × 19 cm)

Carex intumescens (Bladder Sedge, Greater Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge, Swollen Sedge)

6/2/2010 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm)

Carex intumescens description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 21 Oct 2016.

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Carex intumescens (Bladder Sedge, Greater Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge, Swollen Sedge)

5/31/2016 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Pepperell, MA

Carex intumescens (Bladder Sedge, Greater Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge, Swollen Sedge)

6/2/2010 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Groton, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Carex intumescens (Bladder Sedge, Greater Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge, Swollen Sedge)

5/20/2012 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (14 × 22 cm)

Carex intumescens (Bladder Sedge, Greater Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge, Swollen Sedge)

5/20/2012 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 27 cm)

Carex intumescens (Bladder Sedge, Greater Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge, Swollen Sedge)

5/31/2016 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Pepperell, MA

Carex intumescens (Bladder Sedge, Greater Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge, Swollen Sedge)

5/31/2016 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Pepperell, MA

Carex intumescens (Bladder Sedge, Greater Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge, Swollen Sedge)

5/20/2012 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Groton, MA
≈ 3½ × 5" (9.2 × 13 cm)

Carex intumescens (Bladder Sedge, Greater Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge, Swollen Sedge)

6/15/2012 · Townsend State Forest, Townsend, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

Carex intumescens (Bladder Sedge, Greater Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge, Swollen Sedge)

5/20/2012 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Groton, MA
≈ 4½ × 7" (11 × 17 cm)

Carex intumescens (Bladder Sedge, Greater Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge, Swollen Sedge)

5/20/2012 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Groton, MA
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm)

Carex intumescens (Bladder Sedge, Greater Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge, Swollen Sedge)

6/2/2013 · Beaver Brook Assn Conservation Lands, Rte. 130, Hollis, NH
≈ 4½ × 5" (11 × 13 cm)

Range:

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