categoryZGrasses Grasses List 

COMMON-YELLOW SEDGE

Carex demissa

(Formerly: Carex viridula ssp. oedocarpa)
(Formerly: Carex flava ssp. oedocarpa)
Sedge Club- & Spike-Rush Family [Cyperaceae]

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Search: Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Growing in a shallow wet place amongst other plants (amongst another plant with glaucous-green leaves). Would you have guessed that Common Yellow-sedge is the commonest of the 4 Yellow-sedges?


Search: Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The yellowish-green fruits (female) and the much narrower brown spikes of the male flowers above them. Common Yellow-sedge, at between 5 to 30cm tall, is shorter and has denser tufts than those of Long-stalked Yellow-sedge.


Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The brighter-green leaves and fruits are those of Common-yellow Sedge, again growing in a shallow wet place.

[But the glaucous leaves in the bottom left-hand corner and scattered elsewhere are the leaves of Black Sedge (Carex nigra)]



Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Another specimen in the centre but with glaucous-green interlopers lurking at the top. The sheaths around the leaves lower down are at first pale but later become grey-brown when older.


Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The brownish narrower male spikes and the yellowish-green female fruits with their long white beaks which terminate with tiny white forks.

The leaves are deep-green to yellow-green and between 1.5 to 5mm wide, with rigidity provided both by its thickness and by it lengthwise recurved keels.



Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Male flower spikes brownish with a pale stripe up the centre but never making it to the ends. Female fruits pale-green with extended forked white stigma.

The inflorescence has just one orange brown male spikelet on a short 3-20mm long stalk at the summit, plus between 2 to 4 ovoidal to globose female spikelets on short stalks between 7 to 13mm long, which are all just below the male spike at the top apart from just one female spikelet much lower down which is on a much longer stalk. The bracts of the female spikes are just below each spike and look like leaves; the upper bracts exceeding the top of the the male inflorescence.



Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Female fruits pale-green with extended forked white stigmas. Most fork into two whilst a few others seem to fork into three, if your Author is not mistaken(?). The stems of Common Yellow-sedge are more rounded than those of either Large Yellow-sedge and Long-stalked Yellow-sedge.


Photo: © RWD
The green fruits mostly after having lost their long white forked styles. At just 3 to 4mm long the fruits are shorter than those of Long-stalked Yellow-sedge, egg-shaped, with a fairly long beak, greener and more obscurely ribbed than the fruits of either Large Yellow-sedge or Long-stalked Yellow-sedge. The beaks are almost straight unlike the beaks of either Large Yellow-sedge or Long-stalked Yellow-sedge which are slightly bent to one side. The beak is just 1mm long (2.0 to 2.5)mm long for Large Yellow-sedge and 1.5 to 2mm long for Long-stalked Yellow-sedge.

For specimen collectors - Beware the warping of the beak of the fruits when dried out...



Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The fruits are squat, almost stalkless, in the axils of leaf branches.


Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Another specimen of Common-Yellow Sedge.


Easily mis-identified as : Small-fruited Yellow-sedge (Carex viridula) and Long-stalked Yellow-sedge (Carex lepidocarpa), but the differences are quoted in the captions beneath the photos.

Hybridizes with : Flower ()

  • Small-fruited Yellow-sedge (Carex viridula), the hybrid occuring only rarely on the coast where Common Yellow-sedge occurs. Its fertility is low.
  • Long-stalked Yellow-sedge (Carex lepidocarpa), the hybrid occuring frequently in most of the British Isles where both parents occur, or occasionally only one parent. The fertility of the pollen is reduced but sometimes fruits are produced.

It tends to avoid chalk or limestone soils preferring instead the less-acidic bogs, wet heaths, wet fields, beside lakes, moors, and non-calcareous flushes in mountains or heathy woodland paths and even on stony lake shores. It is more common than Long-stalked Yellow-sedge except on limestone soils.

Clive Stace has left the native or other status blank, so that must mean that it is not known whether or not it is a native, an archaeophyte, neophyte, casual or alien.


  Carex demissa  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Cyperaceae  

Distribution
 family8Sedge Club- & Spike-Rush family8Cyperaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Carex
Carex
(Sedge)

COMMON-YELLOW SEDGE

Carex demissa

(Formerly: Carex viridula ssp. oedocarpa)
(Formerly: Carex flava ssp. oedocarpa)
Sedge Club- & Spike-Rush Family [Cyperaceae]