Crooked Run Valley
blunt broom sedge (Carex tribuloides)
blunt broom sedge
SCIENTIFIC SYNONYMS: There are no scientific synonyms for
TAXONOMY: The currently accepted scientific name for blunt broom
sedge is Carex tribuloides Wahlenb. There are two recognized varieties:
1) Carex tribuloides Wahlenb. var. sangamonensis Clokey, and 2)
Carex tribuloides var. tribuloides Wahlenb. For the Nature Guide,
variety tribuloides is described.
NATIVE STATUS: Native, United States and Canada.
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Tufted perennial, aphyllopodic; stems stout, to 1 m; sheaths ventrally green-veined nearly to the summit. Leaves 3-7 mm wide, shorter than the stems. Spikes 5-15, gynaecandrous, subglobose to obovoid, 6-12 mm, usually blunt, rounded to acute at the base, densely or loosely collected in an ovoid or oblong cluster 2-5 cm long; perigynia usually over 30, appressed-ascending, green to stramineous, 4-5 x 1-1.3 mm, 3-4 times as long as wide, lanceolate, flat or somewhat distended over achene, wing narrowed somewhat abruptly near the middle and often absent on the lower fourth, obscurely nerved on both sides, gradually tapering into beak. Achene lenticular, 1.5 mm long and 0.5-0.75 mm wide; stigmas 2. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous. This sedge often forms small colonies of plants.
REGENERATION PROCESS: Blunt broom sedge propogates itself by
reseed and vegetative spread (rhizomes).
HABITAT TYPES: Blunt broom sedge is common in habitats that include wet woodlands, areas adjacent to semi-shaded vernal pools, moist meadows in wooded areas or along rivers, powerline clearances in wooded areas, wet prairies (including sand & dolomite prairies), marshes, swamps, bogs, gravelly seeps, edges of ponds and lakes, and ditches. This sedge occurs in a greater variety of habitats than most others.
SITE CHARACTERISTICS: Prefers full sun to light shade. Wet to moist conditions. Tolerates various soils including gravel, loamy, sandy and peaty.
SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT: the blooming period is from late May to early July.
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION: Blunt broom sedge is found throughout the
eastern portion of the United States and Canada, from Florida into the Maritime Provinces (except Newfoundland). It extends west to Texas and
north to South Dakota. It does not naturally occur in the southwest states or
in the Rocky Mountain states and with the exception of Oregon, does not
occur in the Pacific Coast states. It also extends across most of the Canadian
provinces (except Manitoba and Alberta, and the norther provinces).
SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION:
Grass specimens can be found on trails marked in red.
Appalachian Trail/Old Trail
South Ridge/North Ridge
Rolling Meadows/ Lost Mountain
The specific distribution of blunt broom sedge has not been determined.
IMPORTANCE AND USES: Blunt broom sedge and other sedges (Carex spp.) in wetland and woodland habitats are host plants of the larvae of various butterflies, skippers, and moths. Other insects feeding on these sedges include Stethophyma lineata (striped sedge grasshopper), Stethophyma celata (Otte's sedge grasshopper), Stethophyma gracile (graceful sedge grasshopper), Scudderia curvicauda (curve-tailed bush katydid), leafhoppers (especially Cosmotettix spp.), Iziphya americana and other aphids, semi-aquatic leaf beetles (especially Plateumaris spp.), Sphenophorus costicollis (sedge billbug) and other billbugs, the seed bugs Cymus angustatus and Oedancala dorsalis, the plants bugs Mimoceps insignis and Teratocoris discolor, and the stink bug Eurygaster alternata. Among vertebrate animals, the seeds of sedges in wetland and woodland habitats are a significant source of food for various upland gamebirds, waterfowl, and granivorous songbirds.