Grasses, Sedges and Rushes

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What's the difference?

Grasses

illustration of some grass characteristics
  • Stems jointed, usually round in cross-section, hollow
  • Sheaths usually open in the front, though edges may overlap
  • Flowers usually perfect (both male and female parts)
  • Each floret wrapped in 2 bracts/scales

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Sedges

illustration of some sedge characteristics

  • Stems not jointed, usually 3-sided, not hollow
  • Sheaths closed in front
  • Flowers either male or female or perfect
  • Each floret subtended by a single scale

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Rushes

illustration of some rush characteristics

  • Stems round or flat in cross-section, not jointed
  • Leaves flat or round in cross-section
  • Sheaths open in front, often auricled
  • Flowers perfect, 3 or 6 stamens, 6 tepals
  • Capsules with 3 or many seeds

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All grasses, sedges and rushes