This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
The habitat of this plant is ditches, gravelly pastures, marshes, copses. The habit is tufted. The stems are slender, with short stolons, wiry, 3-angled, roughish at the extremity. The leaves are not so long as the stem, narrow, flat. The 4-6 spikelets are borne on a long oval spike or panicle, with or without a bract below, and are touching. The fruit is oval with a long point, veined, finely toothed at the top, with a broad, flat, long beak, divided into two nearly to the base. The nut is egg-shaped. The style is club-shaped below. The plant is 1-2 ft. high, and flowers from May to July, being a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this sedge is wet places, meadows, pastures, etc. The plant is stout, having the sedge habit. The rootstock is tufted, without stolons. The stems are 3-sided, smooth, or rough above. The leaves are narrow, not so long as the stem. There are about six spikelets, which are oval, contiguous, lobed, close, pale-brown, flattened, alternate. There are male spikelets below. There are no bracts, or, if so, they are awl-like. The glumes are acute, pale-brown, with a green midrib, white edges, with a membranous border. The fruit is erect, ovate, narrow, plano-convex, lobed, with membranous borders. The beak is divided into two nearly to the base. The nut is elliptic, oblong, with a short cylindrical beak, stalked, shining. The plant is 6-12 in. high, flowering in June, and is a herbaceous perennial.
This sedge is regarded as only a variety of the last by Mr. G. C. Druce, though raised to specific rank by others. It is found in the S.W. of England and is very rare. It differs from the last in its narrower leaves, the spike being compact or occasionally interrupted below. The fruit is short and spreading and suddenly narrowed into a short beak. The square small nut is blunt. It is from 1-2 ft. in height. Flowers are found in May, June, and July. It is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is grassy places, usually damp, pastures, woods, rocks. The habit is sedge-like. The stem is tall and wiry, with narrow, bluish-green leaves, which are flat, erect, or bent back. There are several male spikelets, 2-3 stalked, fertile spikelets, the flowers crowded, drooping at length. The bracts are broad and not sheathing. The glumes are dark, short, acute, not as long as the stalkless, elliptical, blunt, rough, swollen fruit, with a round, entire, turned-back beak. The nut is egg-shaped, triangular. The plant is 4-24 in. in height. It is in flower in May, June, and July, and is quite a conspicuous feature of some pastures, being a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this sedge is wet meadows, marshy places, and marshes. The habit is similar to the last. The stems are curved, smooth, bluntly three-angled, erect, and bear leaves. The leaves are bluish-green, with rough edges, flat. The bracts have long sheaths. The spikelets are oblong, the oblong fertile ones inclined, loose, remote, the solitary terminal spike being entirely male. The fruit is egg-shaped, swollen, dotted, longer than the dark, egg-shaped glumes, which are blunt or acute, with a broad, green midrib and pale edges. The beak is short and round. The nut is 3-angled, dotted, brown, linear-elliptic. The plant is 9-24 in. in height. The flowers are open from June to August, and it is one of our most handsome sedges, known by its variegated glumes. The plant is a herbaceous perennial.
Pastures, wet meadows, or water meadows as they are often called, constitute the usual habitat of this plant. The habit is typical of the Sedge group. The stem is erect, acutely 3-angled, rough above. The rootstock is creeping. The broad leaves are bluish-green below, smooth, curved, flat. There are no sheaths to the upper bracts, the lower being leaflike with a sheath, reddish at the base. The spikelets are nearly stalkless, the solitary male spikelets erect, the short female shortly-stalked, blunt, cylindrical. The glumes are small, acute. The fruit is densely downy, inversely egg-shaped, with a short beak, notched and narrowed below. The nut is 3-angled, pale, inversely egg-shaped. It is 9-18 in. high, and flowers in May, June, July. It is a herbaceous perennial.