Herbs grass-like or rush-like, with fibrous roots and solid culms. Leaves mostly linear, channeled, arising from entire or tubular sheaths. Flowers spiked, perfect or diclinous, one in the axil of each glume. Perianth none, or represented by a few hypogynous bristles (setœ), or a cup-shaped or a sac-shaped perigynium. Stamens definite (1 to 12), mostly 3. Anth. fixed by their base, 2-celled. Ovary 1-celled, with an anatropous, erect ovule, forming in fruit a utricle. Embryo enclosed in the base of the albumen.

Genera 120, species 2000. The Sedges abound in almost all climes of the globe, and in all localities, but are more common in the meadows, marshes and swamps of the temperate zones. A bout 40 genera and 400 species are known in North America.

Properties. - They are in general little used for food or in the arts. Their coarse herbage is often eaten by cattle, but they are nearly destitute of the sweet and nutritious properties of the grasses. The" leaves of some of the larger species are used in Italy to bind flasks and in weaving the bottoms of chairs. Yet, although of so little apparent value, their vast numbers authorize the belief that they subserve many highly important ends in the economy of nature.

Tribes And Genera

§ Tribr 1. CYPEREae. Glumes distichous (2-rowed). Flowers perfect, (*)

* Inflorescence axillary. Perigynium or perianth of 6 to 10 setae....................................

DULICHIUM.

1

* Inflorescence terminal. Perigyninm none. - Spikes 2 to ∞-flowered.......

CYPERUS.

2

- Spikes 1-flowered, capitate....

KYLLINGIA.

3

§ Tribe 2. SCIRPEae. Glumes imbricated in several rows, each (except sometimes the lowest) flower bearing. Inflorescence wholly terminal or wholly lateral (never both). Flowers perfect. (*)

* Perianth of 3 to ovate petals and (often) of 3 setae.......................................

FUIRENA.

4

* Perianth of 3 to ∞ hypogynous setae. (a)

a Achenium crowned with a tubercle. Spike solitary, terminal..................

ELEOCHARIS.

5

a Achenium not tuberc. - Setae 3 to 6, short, or else tawny. Spikes 1 to ∞............

Scirpus,

6

- Setae ∞ (rarely 6), long, white, cottony............

ERIOPHORUM.

7

* Perianth 0. - Style 2-cleft, smooth. - Spikes 2 to 3, lateral.............................

HEMICARPHA.

8

- Spikes ∞, in a terminal head.........

LIPOCARPHA.

9

- Style 2-cleft, ciliolate. Spikes 5 to 10, terminal.........................

FIMBRISTYLIS.

9

- Style 3-cleft, smooth. Achenium 3-angled.............

TricheloStylis.

10

§ Tribe 3. PHTNCHOSPOREae. Glumes imbricated in several rows, many of the lowest empty. Inflorescence both terminal and axillary (except in No. 12). Flowers perfect or diclinous, (c)

c Achenia crowned with the persistent style or its bulbous base, (d)

d Perianth none (no setae). - Spikes diffusely cymous.......................................

POILOCARYA.

11

- Spikes capitate. Bracts colored...........................

DICHROMENA.

12

d Perianth of setae. - Achen. tuberculate with the base of the style................

RHYNCHOSPORA.

13

- Achenium horned with the entire long style............

CeratoschŒnus.

14

c Achenia not tuberculate, - brown like the scales. Setae none.............................

Cladium.

15

- white or whitish, erustaceous. Setae none..................

SOLERIA.

16

$ Tribe 4. CARICEae. Glumes imbricated or alternate. Setae 0. Perianth (perigynium) of united scales, sac-like, enclosing the acheninm. Style 2 or 3-cleft. Flowers diclinous.......................................................Carex. t7

1. DULICH'IUM, Rich. (Gr.Tribes And Genera 2109 two, Tribes And Genera 2110 scale; the glumes are in two rows.) Spikes linear-lanceolate, subcompressed; glumes sheathing, closely imbricated in 2 rows; style long, bifid, the persistent base crowning the compressed achcnium; ovary invested with 6 to 9 barbed setae. - Tribes And Genera 2111 St. leafy. Spikes sessile, alternately arranged in 2-rowed, axillary racemes.

D. spathaceum Pers. Marshes, borders of streams, U. S. and Can. St. roand, leafy, and somewhat 3-sided above, thick, sheathed below. Lvs. alternate, pointing 3 ways, 2 to 4' by 3". Sheaths tubular, shorter than the internodes. Clusters axillary from within the sheaths, and terminal, each consisting of 8 to 10 linear-lanceolate, alternate spikes in 2 rows. Spikes 5 to 7-howered, nearly an inch in length. Glumes linear-lanceolate. Aug.

2. CYPE'RUS, L. Galingale. Sedge. (Gr.Tribes And Genera 2112 the ancient name.) Spikes compressed, distinct, many-flowered; glumes imbricated in 2 opposite rows, nearly all with a flower enclosed; flowers without seta;; stamens 3, rarely fewer; style 3-fid (rarely 2-fid), deciduous. - Mostly Tribes And Genera 2113 St. simple, leafy at base, mostly triangular, bearing an involucrate, simple or compound head or umbel at top.

§ PYcreus. Style 2-cleft. Achcnium lens-shaped. Spikes flat, 10 to 80-flowered. -

- Stamens 2 (partly 3 in No. 1)....................................................

Nos. 1 - 3

- Stamens always 3......................................................................

No. 4, 5

§ Cyperus. Style 8-cleft. Achenium 3-angled. Spikes flattened or teretish, 5 to 40-flowered, the one lowest glume empty. (*)

* Culm with many joints, teretish, and with leafless sheaths at base..............................

No. 6

* Culm jointless, triquetrous, and with leaves below, (a)

a Pair of scales within each glume free, persistent. Heads dense............................

No. 7

a Pair of scales adnate to the rachis, or wanting, (b)

b Spikes racemously arranged along the rachis. Stamens 3. (c)

c Spikes 10 to 20-flowered, the clusters 2-rowed..........................................

Nos. 8,9

c Spikes 5 to 7- flowered, the clusters 2-rowed...........................................

No. 10

c Spikes 5 to 10-flowered, clusters many-rowed, (d)

d Spikes terete or tetragonal...............................

Nos. 11,12

d Spikes flattened, linear or lanceolate.........................

Nos. 13 - 15

b Spikes capitate on the summit of the rachis. (e)

e Glumes with recurved points. Stamen 1 only.........................

Nos. 16,17

e Glumes with erect points. Stamen 1 only...............................

No. 18

e Glumes with erect points. Stamens 3. (f)

f Umbel simple. - Spikes terete, few - flowered.....................

No. 19

- Spikes flattish, 6 to 10-flowered..............

Nos. 20, 21

- Spikes flat, 12 to 40-flowered.................

No. 22

f Umbel compound. Spikes 6 to 40-flowered.....................................

Nos. 23 - 25

§ Marisous. Style 3-cleft. Achenium 8-angled. Spikes teretish, 1 to 4-flowered, in dense heads, the 2 lowest glumes empty..........................................

Nos. 26, 27

1 C. didndrus Torr. Culms slender, reclining, 4 to 10' high; umbel contracted. of 2 to 5 short, unequal rays; spikes flat, ovate or oblong, 12 to 24-flowered, obtu-zish, fascicled at the top of the rachis; glumes obtusish, 1-veined, membranous, green on the keel, the sides rust-colored in various shades; stam. mostly 2; sty. 2-cleft, exserted; ach. obovate, dull. - Marshy grounds, N. E. to W. States, common. A handsome Sedge. Scales 5 to 8" long, near 2" wide. Aug.

β. castaneus. Scales of a dark chestnut color, shining, coriaceous, closely imbricated; styles scarcely exserted.

γ. pauciflorus. Spikes very short, 5 to 9-flowered; glumes chestnut brown, with yellowish margins; lvs. linear-setaceous. - N. Ohio.

2 C. Nuttallii Torr. Culms triquetrous, tufted, 4 to 12' high; rays few and short, loese; spikes (2 to 6" long) linear-lanceolate, flattened, very acute, 10 to 20-flowered; scales acute, loosely imbricated, yellowish-brown; stam. 2; ach. oblong-obovate, obtuse, with a half 2-cleft style. - Brackish meadows, Mass. to La. Lvs. mostly shorter than the culms. Invol. of 4 leaves, 2 of them very long. Spikes C to 12" long, in loose, irregular umbels. Aug.

β. minimus. Invol. of 1 or 2 lvs. Spikes 1 or 2, 10 to 12-flowered; glumes loosely imbricated, acute; stam. 1. - Culm and lvs. setaceous. N. J. (Torr)

3 C. Gatesii Torr. Culm 8 to 12' high, slender, obtusely 3-angled, umbel of 6 to 8 distinct, very unequal rays; spikes alternate, rattier remote, linear-lanceolate, 10 to 12-flowered, the lowest compound; scales acute, loose, pale straw-yellow; stam. 2; sty. deeply 2-cleft; ach. obovate, obtuse, dull, dark gray. - Near Mobile,

Ala. (Gates, in Torr. Cyp.). Plant pale green. Invol. about 3-leaved.

4 C. flavescens L. Culm 4 to 10' high, leafy below; umbel of 2 to 4 short rays; spikes linear, obtusish, 15 to 20 or 30-flowered; glumes obtuse, straw-color, broad-ovate, 1-veined; stam. 3; sty. deeply 2-cleft; ach. Suborbicular, dark brown, sinning. - Marshy grounds, U. S., common in Penn. (Jackson). Lvs. about as high as the culms. Spikes 5 to 9" long, 1 1/4' wide, in crowded fascicles of 3 to 6 on each short rachis. Aug.

5 C. Cavicomus Mx. Culm 1 to 3f high, 3-angled; invol 3 to 5-leaved, very long; umbel somewhat compound, of many (4 to 7) spreading rays; spikes numerous, lance-linear, divaricate, loosely 12 to 30-flowered; glumes very obtuse, brownish yellow, green and 3-veined on the keel, with a broad, white-scarious margin; stam. 3; sty. short, 2-cleft; ach. obovate, blackish. - Bogs, also in dry soils, Va. to Fla. Spikelets 7 to 10" long. Glumes somewhat truncate and emarginate. May - Sept.

6 C. articulatns L. Jointed Sedge. Culm 2 to 6f high, with internal joints, and several leafless sheaths towards the base; lvs. none or sheath-like; umbel compound, loose, with about 5 rays; invol. 2 or 3-leaved, short, spikes linear-subulate, alternate, 14 to 20-flowered; glumes lanceolate, obtusish, with a green keel, membranous sides, white, with red dots; stam. 3; sty. 3-cleft; ach. acutely 3-angled. - River swamps, S. States. Rt. jointed, creeping. Jn. - Aug.