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Carex plantaginea Lam.

 

Plantain-leaf sedge, seersucker 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
SpeciesplantagineaMeans “resembling a plantain”

About plant names...

Plantain-leaf sedge is native to New England and nearby Canada in North America. It prefers rich deciduous forests, on wooded slopes and ravines, in calcerous soils. It is often associated with basswood and ferns.

Plants: Grows in dense tufts (cespitose). Culms (stems) reach up or hang sideways. They are hairless and green. Leaves are all basal, emerging from a red-purple sheath. Since the leaves are evergreen, plants often appear beat-up in the spring.

Leaves: Leaves are evergreen, hairless, with a set of three parallel ribs, 6-17" (14-42 cm) × ¼-1¼" (8-32 mm). Viewed in cross section, the leaves have a zig-zagged shape. They often have a rippled appearance, hence the common name “seersucker.” Leaves on the culms are smaller, reddish purple, and tubular.

Flowers: Each culm contains 2-4 pistillate (female) spikes and is topped by a single staminate (male) spike. The female spikes are ½-1½" (1.3-3.8 cm) long, and roughly cylindrical. The male spike is reddish-purple, and up to ¾" (1.9 cm) long. Blooming begins in mid-spring.

Fruits: Achenes are about ¹/₁₆" (2.5 mm) long, ovoid, and 3-angled.

Online References:

Carex plantaginea at Illinois Wildflowers

Carex plantaginea at Minnesota Wildflowers

Carex plantaginea on michiganflora.net

Carex plantaginea on plants.ces.ncsu.edu

Carex plantaginea 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. 142

Carex plantaginea (plantain-leaf sedge, seersucker sedge)

9/14/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Carex plantaginea (plantain-leaf sedge, seersucker sedge)

6/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 20 × 14" (49 × 36 cm)

Carex plantaginea (plantain-leaf sedge, seersucker sedge)

7/10/2019 · Oak Hill, Littleton, MA

Carex plantaginea description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Carex plantaginea (plantain-leaf sedge, seersucker sedge)

8/27/2016 · Williams Barn and Sørhaug Woods, Groton, MA

Carex plantaginea (plantain-leaf sedge, seersucker sedge)

9/14/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 15 × 10" (39 × 26 cm)

Carex plantaginea (plantain-leaf sedge, seersucker sedge)

6/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm)

Carex plantaginea (plantain-leaf sedge, seersucker sedge)

8/12/2017 · Bates Land and Blackman Land, Groton Conservation Trust, Groton, MA
≈ 10 × 7" (24 × 16 cm)

Carex plantaginea (plantain-leaf sedge, seersucker sedge)

8/16/2020 · Long Reach Preserve, Harpswell, ME
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 20 cm)

Carex plantaginea (plantain-leaf sedge, seersucker sedge)

6/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm)

Carex plantaginea (plantain-leaf sedge, seersucker sedge)

9/14/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 20 cm)

Range:

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