Home - Checklist of the Plants from the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge

Cyperaceae

Bulbostylis capillaris; Hair Sedge; Native; According to Ulaszek (1988), uncommon on sandstone glades. Mohlenbrock (2014) lists this plant as occasional in moist sandy soil throughout the state.  Not yet relocated in the Refuge. To quote Yatskievych (1999) "This small, wispy plant is easily overlooked in the field". Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex albicans; Synonyms: Carex artitecta; White-tinged Sedge; Native; Common to abundant in dry woods throughout the Refuge. It is one of the first sedges to flower in the spring.  Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex albursina; White Bear Sedge; Native; Common in upland forests throughout the Refuge. Easily identified by its broad vegetative leaves. The common name derives from the name of a lake in Minnesota. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex amphibola; Creek Sedge; Native; Occasional to rare. Occurs along a trail in the Grassy Creek national wilderness area off Tacoma Lake Road. This sedge is sometimes described as a variety of the more common C. grisea. Distinguished from C. grisea by the narrowly elliptic triangular perigyngia, and the presence of pistillate spikes near the base of the plant. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex annectens; Yellow-brown Fox Sedge; Native; Herbarium specimen by Mark Basinger 1992, in the Devil's Kitchen Spillway area, accession no. 126925. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex blanda; Common Wood Sedge; Native; ]. Both Ulaszek (1988) and CCP list this plant as occasional. Actually it is one of our most common sedges. It occurs in woods, road edges, fields, and prairies, even in disturbed areas. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex bushii; Bush's Sedge; Native; Common in dry woods, fields and meadows, as well as in moist situations, throughout the Refuge. Jones describes its habitat as "open wet areas."  Apparently the plant is infrequent in Kentucky. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex caroliniana; Carolina Sedge; Native; Uncommon. Can be found along Rocky Bluff Trail. This sedge resembles C. bushii, but can be separated by its much shorter pistillate scales. In C. bushii the scales are distinctly longer than the perigyngia. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex cephalophora; Capitate Sedge; Native; A common sedge, occurring in woods, fields, thickets, and shaded roadsides. The spikelets clustered at the tip of the culm help identify this taxon. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex crinita; Fringed Sedge; Native; This robust, striking plant, readily identified by its conspicuous pendulant inflorescences, is locally common along the shores of all three lakes and in wet areas. One of our more beautiful sedges.  Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex cristatella; Round-spikelet Sedge; Native; According to Ulaszek (1988), uncommon in moist successional fields.  I have not yet observed it on the Refuge. The plant's range is generally north of us, though Mohlenbrock (2014) reports it as scattered throughout the state. It does not occur in the southeastern half of Missouri (Yatskievych 1999, map 179). The spiny look of the globose spikes makes the plant relatively easy to identify. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex davisii; Davis' Sedge; Native; Uncommon in dry woodlands. It occurs along Rocky Bluff Trail. A rather delicate, frequently spreading sedge. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex digitalis; Slender Woodland Sedge; Native; Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex emoryi; Emory's Sedge; Native; Ulaszek (1988) found this plant along the margins of Devil's Kitchen Lake and considered it uncommon.  Mohlenbrock (2014) reports it as  "occasional in the northern 2/3 of Illinois: also in Johnson, Union, Randolph, and Williamson counties." Not yet confirmed. Probably overlooked, in spite of its hefty appearance.  Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex festucacea; Fescue Sedge; Native; Occasional in wet areas in fields. Occurs along Pigeon Creek Road. May be more common, but is easily confused with other Ovales sedge species. To identify it requires close examination of its peculiarly orbicular perigynia. The Ovales form a subsection of Carex, easily recognized as a group, but  identifying species within the group presents a formidable challenge! Yatskievych (1999) in his introduction to the Ovales gives good advice: "When examining spikes, it is important to locate the most mature, best developed peryginia in a sample, as these facilitate interpretation of subtle characters of peryginium shape, size, and texture". In practice this means that at certain times some sedges cannot be reliably identified. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex frankii; Frank's Sedge; Native; A distinctive, sturdy sedge, locally common in moist places in both forests and ditches, as well as along banks of ponds and lakes throughout the Refuge. From a distance may be confused with C. squarrosa.   Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex glaucodea; Blue Sedge; Native; Mohlenbrock (2014) describes this plant as occasional in the southern 3/5 of the state. In the Refuge it is a common sedge, found in woods and nearby fields. Easily identified by its glaucous bluish leaves. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex granularis; Meadow Sedge; Native; Common in grassy areas. It can be found in the prairie across from Harmony Trail. Its perigynia appear a tad inflated. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex grayi; Gray's Sedge; Native; This distinctive and easily recognized sedge occurs infrequently in moist areas along Rocky Bluff Trail, the A-41 wetlands, and other damp areas. Its large globose pistillate spike, armed with many spines pointing in all directions, resembles the head of a caveman's club. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex grisea; Gray Sedge; Native; Uncommon in roadside ditches. Occurs in the boat launch area at the south end of Little Grassy Lake (north of Giant City campground). Similar to C. amphibola (see above under that species). Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex hirsutella; Hairy-leaved Sedge; Native; Common in woods and meadows throughout the Refuge. Aptly named, as its leaves are densely hairy on both sides. The base of the flowering stem often shows a reddish or purplish tint.  Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex hirtifolia; Hairy Sedge; Native; Rare in the Refuge. It is not listed in Ulaszek (1988) or CCP. It occurs at the north edge of the Prison Research Natural Area. Mark Basinger collected this plant in the Devil's Kitchen Spillway area (SIU herbarium). In 1974 Mohlenbrock (Flora of Southern Illinois) considered it rare. In 2002 (and 2014) he judges it to be common throughout the state. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex hystricina; Synonyms: Carex hystericina; Bottlebrush / Porcupine Sedge; Native; Ulaszek (1988) and CCP lists this species as locally common in successional fields. I have not yet observed it on the Refuge. Mohlenbrock (2014) states that this species is occasional to common in the northern 2/3 of the state, rare elsewhere. Jones lists it as "historical," hence this species probably no longer occurs in Kentucky. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex jamesii; James' Sedge; Native; CCP and Ulaszek (1988) regard this neat little sedge as occasional. It is quite common in dry forest areas throughout the Refuge. Easily found along Rocky Bluff Trail. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex lurida; Lurid Sedge; Native; Not yet observed, possibly by oversight, as this species is said to be common in moist areas throughout the state. Ulaszek (1988) reports it as locally common along Devil's Kitchen Lake. The plant closely resembles C. hystricina. According to Jones (2005) it is frequent in Kentucky.Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex meadii; Mead's Sedge; Native; CCP and Ulaszek (1988) list this species as uncommon in successional fields (supported by Mohlenbrock 2014). Not yet relocated. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex molesta; Confusing Sedge; Native; Locally common. Can be found along Devil's Kitchen Lake north of the dam on Tacoma Lake Road. This plant resembles similar species in the difficult Ovales group, such as C. festucacea and C. normalis. The size and shape of the perigynia allow the careful observer to make a determination. Its common name offers an appropriate reminder! Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex muehlenbergii; Muhlenberg's Bracted Sedge; Native; Common throughout the Refuge in woods, fields and along roadsides. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex normalis; Greater Straw Sedge; Native; This plant is common in fields and ditches and other moist areas throughout the Refuge. The species, another one of the Ovales group, can be difficult, and in some cases pretty well impossible, to identify with certainty. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex oligocarpa; Sparse-fruited Sedge; Native; Both CCP and Ulaszek (1988) rightly consider this plant rare. The perigynia are loosely spaced and form two ranks on opposite sides of the spike's axis. It can be found in woods along Rocky Bluff Trail. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex pensylvanica; Pennsylvania Sedge; Native; CCP and Ulaszek (1988) report this species as locally common. However, I suspect occasional misidentification. Its range is normally well to the north of us. The plant closely resembles the more common C. albicans and especially C. physorhynchaPhotos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex physorhyncha; Stellate Sedge, Bellow's Beak Sedge; Native; ]. CCP lists this species as locally common. Ulaszek (1988) considered it rare in dry upland forest.  I judge it as uncommon in dry upland woods, e.g., along the east side of Devil's Kitchen Lake. Its status as a full species is in question. Yatskievych (1999) takes it to be C. albicans var. australis. Jones (2005) does not mention the plant. Rhizomes distinguish C. physorhyncha from C. albicans. Note: Ulaszek (1988) reports that C. physorhyncha was listed as endangered by C. J. Sheviak (Illinois Department of Conservation) already back in 1981. Recently (2011) it was still so listed by the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board.  Clearly, this taxon will need attention.
 
Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex radiata; Star Sedge; Native; Uncommon. Occurs at Rocky Bluff.  This plant is easily confused with C. rosea and C. retroflexa. The beak of the perigynium of this species is minutely toothed. The stigmas are straight.  Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex retroflexa; Reflexed Sedge; Native; Occasional to locally common, e.g., in the woods around Rocky Bluff Trail. The plant closely resembles similar sedges, such as C. rosea, C. radiata, and C. texensis. The beak of the peryginium is smooth. The stigmas are straight.  Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex rosea; Synonyms: Carex convoluta; Star Sedge; Native; CCP and Ulaszek (1988) divide this species into two taxa: C. rosea and C. convoluta. Both should be treated as C. rosea. This species is the most common of several similar-looking sedges (C. radiata, C. retroflexa, and C. texensis), widespread throughout the Refuge in woods and adjacent fields. The beak of the peryginium is roughened, and the stigmas are twisted. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex scoparia; Broom Sedge; Native; This plant likes it wet. It can be found along the shore on the east side of Devil's Kitchen Lake. Although it belongs to the Ovales, the pointed spikes of this sedge are distinctive. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex shortiana; Short's Sedge; Native; Locally common. Can be found along Devil's Kitchen Lake north of the dam on Tacoma Lake Road. The reddish-brown spikes are characteristic of this attractive sedge. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex squarrosa; Squarrose Sedge; Native; Locally common. In moist places along Harmony Trail. From a distance may be confused with C. frankii, but, unlike that species, C. squarrosa frequently shows only one spike at the tip of the culm. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex styloflexa; Bent Sedge; Native; According to CCP and Ulaszek (1988), uncommon in upland forests. Mohlenbrock (2014) calls it rare, confined to 1/6 of southern Illinois. He did not list it in the 1959 edition of A Flora of Southern Illinois. Jones (2005) reports it as rare in areas of Kentucky well to the east of us, but does not mark it as of special concern. The plant evidently does not occur in Missouri: Yatskievych (1999) makes no mention of it. This sedge is similar to C. digitalis, and may be easily overlooked. Note: Ulaszek (1988) reports that Carex styloflexa was listed as endangered in Illinois by Sheviak (1981). He adds: "Previously known in Illinois from one locality in Jackson County." Ulaszek (1988) collected this plant in dry-mesic upland forest in the Devil's Kitchen Dam RNA in 1983. This evidently rare species is not on the 2011 Endangered Species Protection Board list. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex swanii; Swan's Sedge; Native; Rare. In woods along west side of Devil's Kitchen Lake. Not listed in CCP or reported by Ulaszek (1988). It is one of the few sedges in our area distinguished by hairy leaves, culms, and peryginia. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex tenera; Remote Sedge; Native; CCP and Ulaszek (1988) report this species as uncommon in dry, upland forest.  Mohlenbrock (2014) assigns the species to floodplain woods, wet meadows, and swampy depressions, and considers it occasional to common throughout the state. Yatskievych (1999), however, insists that all reports of C. tenera -- another member of the troublesome Ovales group -- south of northwest Missouri are based on mistaken identity, this species being confused with the very similar C. normalis, C. molesta, and C. festucacea.  Jones (2005) does not report C. tenera as occurring in Kentucky. Hence the status of this species as a bona fide inhabitant of the Refuge remains questionable. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex texensis; Texas Sedge; Native; Uncommon to occasional. The plant is very similar to C. rosea (see above) and can be found along Harmony Trail. The smooth beak of the peryginia suggests C. retroflexa (of which it is sometimes regarded as a variety). Narrow peryginia and leaves help identify C. texensisPhotos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex torta; Twisted Sedge; Native; CCP and Ulaszek (1988) report this species as locally abundant in perennial streams. Mohlenbrock (2014) lists it as occasional in the southern tiers of counties. Not yet relocated. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex tribuloides; Blunt Broom Sedge; Native; A locally common sedge in moist to wet areas throughout the Refuge. It, too, belongs to the challenging Ovales group. The perigynia of this species, however, are noticeably elongated (lanceolate). Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex typhina; Cat-tail Sedge; Native; Herbarium specimen by Mark Basinger 1992, Devil's Kitchen Lake north of campgorund, accession no. 126944. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex umbellata; Parasol Sedge; Native; Ulaszek (1988) considers this low-growing inconspicuous sedge to be occasional in dry and dry-mesic upland forest. Mohlenbrock (2014) reports it to be very rare in Jackson, Pope, and Randolph Counties. No doubt easily overlooked. It is a wide-ranging sedge, scattered throughout the eastern half of North America. I have not yet seen it in the Refuge. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex virescens; Hairy-fruited Sedge; Native; Herbarium specimen by Mark Basinger 1992, Devil's Kitchen Lake Spillway area, accession no. 126904. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Carex vulpinoidea; Fox Sedge; Native; ].  A very common sedge in wet meadows, fields and ditches and low grounds generally, throughout the Refuge. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Cyperus acuminatus; Pointed / Tapertip Flatsedge; Native; Occasional in wet areas. This neat little flatsedge can be found in, for example, wet grassy areas near the Spillway main boat ramp at Crab Orchard Lake. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Cyperus bipartitus; Synonyms: Cyperus rivularis; Slender Flatsedge; Native; Uncommon. Occurs in same areas as C. acuminatus, e.g., near the Spillway boatramp at Crab Orchard Lake. A cute, low-growing flatsedge. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Cyperus echinatus; Synonyms: Cyperus ovularis; Round-headed Flatsedge; Native; Though listed by CCP as occasional, this pretty plant is among the most common of flatsedges, widespread throughout the Refuge in fields, disturbed areas, and dry woods. Easily recognized by its globular inflorescence.  Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Cyperus erythrorhizos; Red-rooted Flatsedge; Native; Locally common. Can be found in sandy parts of the Crab Orchard Lake and Little Grassy Lake shorelines. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Cyperus esculentus; Yellow Nut Sedge; Native; ].  In fields and disturbed soil throughout the Refuge. This plant can be a troublesome weed. The positive side of C. esculentus is that its tubers offer good food for gamebirds and waterfowl. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Cyperus lupulinus; Synonyms: Cyperus filiculmis; Fern Flatsedge; Native; Ulaszek (1988) reports this species as rare on sandstone glades. The plant appears to be more common in the northern 1/2 of the state. It readily hybridizes with other Cyperus species.  I have not seen it on the Refuge.  Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Cyperus odoratus; Synonyms: Cyperus ferruginescens; Rusty (Slender) Flatsedge; Native; Locally common in wet areas. Occurs, e.g., in wetlands along Pigeon Creek Road and moist areas along the lakes. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Cyperus pseudovegetus; Flatsedge; Native; Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Cyperus squarrosus; Synonyms: Cyperus aristatus; Bearded Flatsedge; Native; A small, distinctive mat-forming flatsedge, locally common in wet areas, such as the shores of Little Grassy Lake and Crab Orchard Lakes. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Cyperus strigosus; Straw-colored Flatsedge; Native; Common in fields, roadsides, pond margins and disturbed areas throughout the Refuge. The plant resembles C. esculentus, but lacks the tuberous rhizomes. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Eleocharis acicularis; Needle Spike Rush; Native; This low-growing mat-forming spike rush is locally common in wet areas along Little Grassy and Devil's Kitchen Lake. It also grows as a submerged plant. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Eleocharis elliptica; Elliptic Spike Rush; Native; CCP and Ulaszek (1988) report this plant as uncommon. It is closely related to the more widespread E. compressa (Flat-stemmed Spike Rush), of which it is sometimes regarded a variety. Yatskievych (1999) states that E. elliptica occurs in the northeastern U.S and adjacent Canada. Apparently it does not occur in Missouri. Jones (2005) says that E. elliptica "is to be expected" in Kentucky. Mohlenbrock (2014), however, lists it as occasional throughout Illinois. Some diligent searching may relocate this species in the Refuge. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Eleocharis ovata; Synonyms: Eleocharis obtusa; Blunt (Annual) Spikerush; Native; This is the common spike rush in the Refuge, growing at margins of ponds, in shallow water, wet disturbed areas and ditches. The precise taxonomy of this species is not clear. E. ovata appears to represent a complex of several taxa. It is morphologically quite variable, a feature that prompted botanists to recognize many subspecies, some of which are thought to be distinct species. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Eleocharis quadrangulata; Square-stemmed Spike Rush; Native; Herbarium specimen by Bailey & Swayne 1949, at SE shore of Crab Orchard Lake accession no. 5367. An examination of this specimen in the SIU herbarium suggests this identification is correct. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Eleocharis verrucosa; Synonyms: Eleocharis tenuis; Warty Spike Rush; Native; Herbarium specimen by Hatcher & Stewart 1951, at the west edge of Crab Orchard Lake, accession no. 5291. Some botanists view E. verrucosa as a variety of E. tenuis. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Fimbristylis annua; Annual Fimbry; Native; Mohlenbrock (2014) reports this taxon as rare in southern Illinois, documented only in Alexander, Johnson, and Massac counties. It can be found along the shore of Crab Orchard Lake near the Marina boat dock. It grows intermingled with Cyperus squarrosus. The following features distinguish this taxon from F. autumnalis: the spikelets show two instead of three stigmas; one of the bracts below the inflorescence is much elongated, giving the inflorescence a lateral appearance, and the margins of the leaves are minutely hairy (ciliate). Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Fimbristylis autumnalis; Slender Fimbry; Native; Mohlenbrock (2014) reports this species as occasional throughout the state. CCP and Ulaszek (1988) do not list it. Extensive populations can be found along muddy sections of  the Little Grassy Lake shoreline. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Schoenoplectus acutus; Synonyms: Scirpus acutus; Hard-stem Bulrush; Native; CCP lists this plant as rare. Ulaszek (1988) does not report it. According to Mohlenbrock (2014), S. acutus var. acutus occurs occasionally throughout the state, while S. acutus var. congestus is rare in Lake and Williamson counties. The latter may refer to a record from the Refuge. A single specimen collected in 1951 is in the SIU herbarium. I have not observed this species in the Refuge. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Schoenoplectus heterochaetus; Slender Bulrush; Native; Herbarium specimen by D. J. Hankla 1950, at the north end of Crab Orchard Lake, accession no. 5510. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Schoenoplectus pungens; Common Three-Square; Native; Uncommon. Most easily found near the boat ramp at Crab Orchard Lake off Spillway. It is the only Schoenoplectus Bulrush in our area with a sharply triangular stem. It also occurs in Europe and Australia. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani; Synonyms: Scirpus validus; Soft-stem Bulrush; Native; Soft-stem Bulrush]. Locally common in marshy places. Can be found along the margins of Devil's Kitchen Lake. This plant also occurs in Europe and Asia. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Scirpus atrovirens; Dark Green Bulrush; Native; CCP, Ulaszek (1988), and Mohlenbrock (2014) all consider this plant to be (locally) common. I suspect frequent misidentification, the species being confused with the much more common but very similar S. georgianus. Thus far every Dark Green Bulrush I have examined in the Refuge turned out to be S. georgianus. Yatskievych (1999, p. 432) points out that S. atrovirens occupies a more northerly range, while S. georgianus is a southern taxon. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Scirpus cyperinus; Wool Grass; Native; This species is locally common along the shores of the three lakes and other swampy areas.  Its large, arched inflorescence, composed of up to 500 spikelets, makes this striking plant easy to identify.  Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Scirpus georgianus; Georgia Bulrush; Native; Common to abundant in the Refuge in ditches, wet places, roadsides and disturbed areas. See comment under S. atrovirens above. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Scirpus pendulus; Nodding (Red) Bulrush; Native; Uncommon to locally common in wet areas, especially along the shoreline of Devil's Kitchen Lake. Superficially resembles S. cyperinus, but the branches of the inflorescence end in a solitary spikelet, rather than in a cluster of spikelets. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants

Scleria pauciflora; Few-flowered Nut Rush; Native; A rare plant. Ulaszek (1988) found it on a sandstone glade just south of the Williamson/Union county line on the west side of Devil's Kitchen Lake. In a personal communication Jack White reported his recent attempt to relocate it but could not find it again. I have not yet been able to locate it either. It might be easily overlooked. Yatskievych (1999) reports that in Missouri a closely related species, S. ciliata, occurs more commonly than S. pauciflora. Scleria ciliata is listed as endangered in Kentucky. Apparently it has not yet been found in Illinois, hence Mohlenbrock (2014) makes no mention of it. Photos Phytoimages; USDA Plants