Kentucky Nature Preserves Rare Plants

Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission

Epiphytic Sedge
Carex decomposita
Family: Cyperaceae

Protection Status:
State Status:  T
USFWS Status: {null}

Global Rank: G3G4
State Rank: S2

Swamps, sinkhole ponds, often on floating logs; also often growing on cypress knees, cypress bases (often at or near water level) (Weakley 2011).

Species Description:
Perennial sedge.

Flowering Period: Early April to late May.
Fruiting Period: Mid May to mid July.

Additional Information at NatureServe

Diagnostic Characteristics:
This sedge, in the section Heleoglochin (Paniculatae), can be distinguished by the combination of dark-colored (dark green to brown) perigynia, and leaf sheaths that are dotted with purple or red. The perigynia also contract abruptly into a short beak. In contrast, C. sparganioides has thin, winged, light green perigynia and mottled, green and white leaf sheaths.

Avoid changes in hydrologic conditions at the site. Changes could result from overstory removal, stream alteration or impacts due to erosion. Exotic pest plants are a threat to this species

Global Range:
Primarily a southern species, once ranging from New York to Michigan southward to northern Florida and eastern Texas (Crispin and Penskar 1990). The range of this species seems to have retreated within the last century, particularly in the north and east. The most northerly extant site occurs in southern Ohio; possibly extirpated in New York, Maryland, and Michigan.

Known Kentucky Occurrences:

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Data last updated: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission
801 Teton Trail
Frankfort,KY 40601
Phone: (502) 573-2886
Fax: (502) 573-2355
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