Apr. 19, 2019

smoothsheath sedge, Carex laevivaginata

Here's the Dangerfield family again. Respect for these marvelous plants should not be limited to botanists! Even if they do just look kind of messy and disorganized like this one. Just because they don't have petals to show off with is no reason to ignore them. And we could be a little more brave about going in wetlands. Most of our 480 or so species grow around water. This particular one prefers groundwater seeps. It is sensitive to changes in water flow, and can be a harbinger of trouble. It is endangered in Wisconsin. One wonders if a reason for that is the change in direction of groundwater flow in the Milwaukee region. There, the flow is no longer toward Lake Michigan because of so many wells. Carex laevivaginata grows in AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME(S), MI, MN(T), MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV, and ON. Ives Fen Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 5/18/13.