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Genus of the Week

Week of Mar. 9 - 15

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This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of all available Web resources on a particular genus.

This week's genus:

Carex: The True Sedges

Subclass: Monocotyledoneae
Superorder: Commelinidae
Order: Cyperales
Family: Cyperaceae: Reeds and Sedges
Subfamily: Caricoideae
Number of Species: probably in the thousands
Root: Latin ca and rex = "sedge"

The genus Carex is large, and contains species that are of economic and ecological importance, though several species are also considered a nuisance or invasive. C. atherodes is used as a source of hay, while several other species in this genus have agricultural uses. Others are grown as ornamental plants or used in weaving. Populations often take up a large proportion of the biomass in a wetland habitat and thus are at least partly responsible for that ecosystem's primary production.

Here are a few links to images and descriptions of different Carex species:


  1. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
  2. Neiring, William A. and Nancy C. Olmstead., eds. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region. Alfred A. Knopf, New York: 1979.

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