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Archive for March 31, 2010

Welcome to a photographic journey through the fields, woods, and marshes of New England

Here I’ll be sharing some photographs I’ve recently taken as well as some of my favorites from my forthcoming book Naturally Curious. I’ll be updating my blog periodically with new images, new stories, and more glimpses of New England in all seasons.

Seersucker Sedge

It’s hard to think of a plant that has a more appropriate common name than  seersucker sedge.  One look at its long (up to 12”), puckered leaves will quickly tell you why this is so.  Seersucker sedge (Carex plantaginea) is found growing on the forest floor, and it is just starting to send forth its dark flower stalks. This sedge is often mistaken for a species of grass. However, close examination will reveal that its stem is solid and triangular in cross-section, whereas grass stems are usually hollow, except for where the leaves attach (nodes). You may be familiar with the following ditty:

Sedges have edges

Rushes are round

Grasses are hollow

from the top to the ground.

For the most part, this verse is accurate, but if you’re trying to tell whether a plant is a grass, sedge or rush, you might want to consult the chart on this (Australian) site: