Carex lurida from Megan, South Carolina

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Hi Dr.Hill:

My son found this grassy plant today growing along the roadside at the bottom of a sloping hill where it is usually quite wet. We are in Sumter County, SC. It’s shown next to his hand (six years old) for size. He thought it had two spiky green caterpillars on it at first and was surprised to find they were part of the plant! He would love to know what it is called.

Thanks in advance for sharing your time and knowledge.
Megan and Hunter

Hi Megan and Hunter,

this plant is a type of sedge, a group related somewhat to grasses, and those are the seed heads, or spikes.  I believe this is Carex lurida, sometimes called ‘shallow sedge’ and sometimes called ‘sallow sedge’. I am not sure which common name is correct. It is rather common in marshes throughout the state.


Dr. Steven Hill, Botanist, SCNPS


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