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Native Plant Trust: Go Botany Discover thousands of New England plants

Family: Cyperaceae — sedge family

Sedges are perennial or annual grass-like herbs (they are not actual grasses), with stems that often are three-sided. The leaves are arranged such that they spiral around the stem in 3-ranks and have a basal portion that sheaths the stem. The flowers may have both pollen-bearing and ovule-bearing parts, or are unisexual, and are usually clustered into spikes. The flowers may have a ring of bristles or scales attaching below the ovary, which represent highly reduced sepals. There are typically 1-3 stamens that project outward at maturity. The style is undivided or cleft into 2-3 parts. The fruit is a dry and seed-like (called an achene).

This family’s genera in New England

Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key