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This is one of the first sedges to bloom during the spring. Pennsylvania Sedge (Carex pensylvanica) is very similar to Carex lucorum and Sun Sedge (Carex heliophila); these latter two species are sometimes considered different varieties of Pennsylvania Sedge (e.g., Carex pensylvanica distans and Carex pensylvanica digyna respectively). Compared to Pennsylvania Sedge, these species/varieties have longer perigynia (3.0–4.0 mm. in length). The perigyneal beaks of Carex lucorum are more slender and long than those of Pennsylvania Sedge, while Sun Sedge has leaf blades that are more stiff and revolute (rolled). Two other species that are similar in appearance, Carex communis and Carex albicans, lack the long stolons of Pennsylvania Sedge. Most of these species prefer similar habitats to Pennsylvania Sedge, although Sun Sedge is more common in the open prairies of the Great Plains states.


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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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