Sedges have edges October 06, 2007
Today was a great day for a botany outing at Crane Hollow. Some of the best naturalists in Ohio convened to have a look-see at this "permit-only" state nature preserve. The most knowledgeable guy to lead this troop was Gary Coovert, of Ants of Ohio fame, as he is compiling a complete database of the fauna and flora at this preserve.
Rick Gardner arranged this trip and applied his amazing botanical ability to the subject at hand. There were various sitings, from forbs and ferns to sedges, as well as a few dragonflies, salamanders, and a woodcock for a little avian excitement.
Ten minutes into the trip, we found this lovely sedge Carex intumescens, or bladder sedge. I know it is hard for a lot of folks to get excited about sedges, but this is one everyone can enjoy. Intumescens is one of the easier sedges to learn, although you might confuse it with the very common Carex Grayii or Gray's sedge. It has fewer and larger "perigyniums" - the fruit on a sedge.
Really try looking at these plants with the three-sided stems, and you may become intrigued by the amazing forms of geometry they present. Even the landscapers are starting to utilize some of these unpretentious plants. Remember: sedges may be an acquired taste, like champagne and caviar.