Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Santa Barbara sedge ~ 08/24/11 ~ Fort Ord

Santa Barbara sedge
Carex barbarae

I normally stay away, far away, from sedge IDs. According to there are at least 292 members of the sedge family in CA alone, with 179 of those belonging to the genus Carex. Oh my! However, it helps to have a handy-dandy interpretive sign that identifies the Santa Barbara sedge I was seeing in the distance behind a fence. I was able to find more sedges to take close-up pictures without having to climb through fences or go off trail. Just to make sure, I checked the Monterey Bay Chapter CNPS Fort Ord plant list, which also names short-stemmed sedge (C. brevicaulis), round-fruited sedge (C. globosa), Monterey sedge (C. harfordii), sand dune sedge (C. pansa), clustered field sedge (C. praegracilis), and rusty sedge (C. subfusca). Luckily none of those look anything like Santa Barbara sedge, so I'm fairly sure of my C. barbarae ID. Since I have yet to figure out how to embed links to PDFs, here's an interesting google book view of California Riparian Systems with more information on indigenous sedge basketry. For additional references, check out a University of Michigan page I found. My main question from looking at sedges for the first time is: Are the brown things considered flowers or seeds?

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