Monday, January 01, 2018

Michaux's sedge (Carex michauxiana)

Northern Bayfield County, WI. 7/5/05
Rare in parts of its range - Wisconsin, Massachusetts.
Along the exposed, sandy shores of a seepage lake in the Moquah Pine Barrens. This was during a prolonged drought and the lakes were very low.
The barrens are on a dry, sandy outwash plain. It is a fire-dependent ecosystem, ordinarily dominated by low-lying plant species. But 60 years of fire suppression resulted in widespread encroachment by trees and shrubs. It is a USFS Research Natural Area. 
Carex are distinct from grasses, usually having three-edged stems and a bottle-shaped bract surrounding the female flower and seed. The bract is called a perigynium and the fruit is called an achene.

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