Limestone Meadow Sedge, Golden Fruited Sedge
Synonyms of Carex granularis (7) (Updated on 3-22-21 from Plants of the World Online by Kew): Carex chalaros Steud., Carex granularis var. haleana (Olney) Porter, Carex granularis var. shriveri Britton, Carex haleana Olney, Carex rectior Mack., Carex shriveri (Britton) Britton, Deweya granularis (Muhl. ex Willd.) Raf.
Carex granularis Muhl. ex Willd. is the correct and accepted scientific name of this species of Carex. It was described as such by Carl Ludwig von Willdenow in the fourth edition of Species Plantarum in 1805. Mr. Willdenow gave credit to Gotthilf Henry Ernest Muhlenberg for naming the species.
The genus, Carex L., was named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the second volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.
Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 1,997 species in the Carex genus (as of 3-23-21 when I last updated this page). It is a member of the plant family Cyperaceae with 90 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made.
The above distribution map for Carex granularis is from Plants of the World Online. Areas in green are where the species is native. The map on the USDA Plants Database for North America is similar and also includes the state of Illinois. The species could be more widespread than the maps show.
THERE ARE SEVERAL LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING AND TO HELP WITH A BETTER PLANT ID.
I found a colony of Carex granularis while wildflower hunting on a friend’s farm on May 10 in 2020. Carex species are quite common, Missouri Plants listing 25 species and Plants of the World Online listing nearly 2,000 worldwide. I have identified several on my farm but not Carex granularis.
All Carex species are perennial and grow from rhizomes, stolons, or short rootstocks. The leaves look like any other ordinary grass. The flower-bearing stalks, culms, are unbranched and grow to around 2’ tall or more.
The flowers are somewhat complicated… Each culm produces 1-2 auxiliary spikelets of pistillate flowers along the stem, 1-2 terminal spikelets of pistillate flowers on top of the stem, and one shorter stem that terminates with a single spikelet of staminate flowers. Well, it is A LOT more complicated than that, but that is just the short of it. You can check out the links below for more detailed technical descriptions. Missouri Plants, however, does not have descriptions for this one…
Sedges grow in a variety of habitats but seem to prefer moist to wet soil in full to part shade. Several species of caterpillars and grasshoppers feed on their leaves and the seeds are eaten by a number of birds. Cattle may eat the leaves, but it is not favored by deer or rabbits.
SO, for 2021, I really should go back to my friend’s farm and get some detailed photos so I can write better descriptions. I especially need photos of the flowers which would be quite interesting… Grasses in general haven’t been my “thing” because they can be quite complicated even though one might think they are simple. Sedges are not exactly grasses. They are “grass-like”. 🙂 Until they flower, to me they are grass… I have a lot of grass…
I have enjoyed photographing and learning about the many wildflowers growing on the farm and other areas. My farm is in Windsor, Missouri in Pettis County (Henry County is across the street and Benton and Johnson aren’t far away). I have grown over 500 different plants and identified over 100 species of wildflowers (most have pages listed on the right side of the page). I am not an expert, botanist, or horticulturalist. I just like growing, photographing, and writing about my experience. I rely on several websites for ID and a few horticulturalists I contact if I cannot figure them out. Wildflowers can be somewhat variable from location to location, so sometimes it gets a bit confusing. If you see I have made an error, please let me know so I can correct what I have written.
I hope you found this page useful and be sure to check the links below for more information. They were written by experts and provide much more information. Some sites may not be up-to-date but they are always a work in progress. If you can, I would appreciate it if you would click on the “Like” below and leave a comment. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. You can also send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would enjoy hearing from you especially if you notice something is a bit whacky.
FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
INTERNATIONAL PLANT NAMES INDEX (GENUS/SPECIES)
WORLD FLORA ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
USDA PLANTS DATABASE
LADY BIRD JOHNSON WILDFLOWER CENTER
FLORA OR NORTH AMERICA
KANSAS NATIVE PLANTS
NOTE: The figures may not match on these websites. It depends on when and how they make updates and when their sources make updates (and if they update their sources or even read what they say). Some websites have hundreds and even many thousands of species to keep up with. Accepted scientific names change periodically and it can be hard to keep with as well. In my opinion, Plants of the World Online by Kew is the most reliable and up-to-date plant database and they make updates on a regular basis. I make updates at least once a year and when I write new pages but I do get behind. We are all a work in progress. 🙂