Family: Cyperaceae (Sedge family)
Height: 10-45 cm (1-1.5 ft)
Carex pensylvanica Lam.
Stem: rhizomes are reddish brown to dark brown.
Flower: the inflorescence (flowering part of the plant) has a staminate spike (boy spike) separate from the pistillate spikes (girl spikes). The top staminate spike can get up to 2.4 cm (1 in) tall. The perigynia (part surrounding the fruit) is veinless and pale green with dark reddish brown scales.
Leaves: are 1-3 mm wide. Culms are hairless, unbranched, and three-angled.
Sun: Full sun to shade
SOURCES & FURTHER RESOURCES:
Comments: a common woodland sedge that can be easily confused with other woodland sedges. One sedge that comes in looking a lot like like Pen sedge is Carex communis. Pen sedge differs in having long rhizomes that spread horizontally. Usually Pen sedge flowers earlier than C. communis.
Etymology: The genus Carex comes from the Latin word meaning "reed-grass". The specific epithet, pensylvanica, simply means, "of Pennsylvania".
all photos by Nathanael Pilla
Landscape: for a native, sedgy lawn, this is the plant for you. It is the best substitute for that pesky lawn grass.