4-5 Cyperaceae, sedge family
Keywords:Magnoliophyte, sedge family, monocots, Carex, Scirpus, Eriophorum, Trichophorum, Rhynchospora, Dulichium, Eleocharis, Schoenoplectus, Blysmopsis, Bolboschoenus, Cyperus, Bulbostylis, Cladium, bulrush, sedge, twig-rush, flatsedge, nutgrass, spikerush, spik
Grasslike in form, the sedges comprise a large group of genera, including 4500 species worldwide. Usually they are plants of wetlands or poorly drained soils. The leaves are often arranged in three ranks along the culms, which may or may not be triangular in cross-section. The flowers are singly borne in the axils of scales, which are usually (not always) clustered together in spikes or spikelets. Flowers are three-merous, with a single pistil. There are sometimes bristles at the base of the flowers. Fruit is an achene, naked or enclosed. Mature achenes are usually required to ascertain identity. It is one of Nova Scotia's most diverse families of flowering plants.
They may be separated from the grasses on the basis of the leaf sheaths. They are closed to the top.
Photo use provided by Sean Blaney, David Mazerolle, Alain Belliveau, Ruth Newell, Ross Hall, Roger Lloyd, and Martin Thomas.