Three Square Sedge (Cyperaceae)
Three Square Sedge is a member of the bulrush family. It is a plant consisting of an erect or ascending stem, otherwise known as a culm, that stands approximately 1 1/2 to 4 feet tall. The stem holds between 1 and five leaves that are erect or sometimes arched. The culm, or stalk, has a color of medium green to bluish green, is smooth, thick, has three angles, and is concave in between each one of those. If you were to open the stem, the inside would appear as a white spongy substance. The leaf blades are found close to the base of the stem and usually differ in length. They could be from 2-30 inches long and up to 9 mm. Across. These are shaped like a V toward their bases and flatten as you reach the tip. They are also a medium to bluish green and shorter than the blades. The inflorescence is the small hairy head of several spikelets that vary in color. They can be anywhere from bright orange, red, purple, or translucent. This plant sexually reproduces by seed and will colonize through vegetative reproduction. The Three Square Sedge is very popular among Native Americans, as it is used for food, making goods like baskets and hats. The Three Square Sedge blooms from spring to fall and is sporadically distributed from Nova Scotia to Washington state and south to South America; it can typically be found growing in fresh water to brackish marshes along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The Three Square Sedge is hight palatable to the muskrat, Canada and snow goose, but is moderately used for cattle grazing. The submerged portions of these plants provide habitats for many micro and macroinvertebrates, which in turn, are food for fish, reptiles, amphibians, and other wildlife species.
USDA Climate Zones: 2-9