Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wool Grass

Order: Cyperales
Family: Cyperaceae
Genus: Scirpus
Species: S. cyperines

Identifying Characteristics:

- Consists of a clump of low vegetative shoots, from which arises one or more flowering stalks about 3-5' tall.

- The stout culms of the flowering stalks are unbranched, bluntly 3-angled or terete (round in cross-section), medium green and glabrous.

- Each culm has 5-9 alternate leaves along its length. The blades of the leaves are up to 12 mm across and 2 in long.

- Wool-grass is a bulrush sedge

- Stems are erect

Special Adaptations:

- Found growing in marshes, swamps, and ponds

- Blooms from summer to fall

- grow in dense clumps in saturated or boggy soils with partial shade

- shallow water is tolerated

- several leaf beetles and caterpillars feed on the foliage of the wool-grass

- Wool grass are an important source of food and cover to many vertebrate animals such as, ducks, geese, many species of bird, muskrats.

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