Valerian Sedge
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Valerian Sedge
P Native Photo: Ashutosh Sharma
Common name: Valerian Sedge
Botanical name: Carex fedia    Family: Cyperaceae (Sedge family)
Synonyms: Carex chaetogyne, Carex sinomairei, Carex wallichiana

Valerian Sedge is a clustered perennial herb, 25-60 cm, with long underground runners. The species name is probably in allusion to Fedia, the old name for Valerian plants. Stem is sharply trigonous, smooth. Leaves equal stem length; sheaths 1.5-7 cm, dark to light brown, disintegrating into often net-like fibres. Leaves are 2-4 mm wide, flat to somewhat curled, long-tapering, margins and main veins scabrous. Inflorescence have 1-3 male spikes grouped closely together, 1-3 female spikes remote. Bracts are sheath-less, equalling inflorescence. Male spikes are 12-30 x 2-3 mm, from pale yellow to light brown, glumes 4.5-6 x about 1.6 mm, obovate, blunt, scarious. Female spikes are 8-25 x 4-7 mm, from almost globular to cylindrical; glumes 3.7-4.2 x 1.6-2 mm, triangular, pointed, midnerve area green, 3-nerved, margins widely scarious. Valerian Sedge is found in wet meadows, along ditches, in the Himalayas, from Afghanistan to Central China and SE Asia, at altitudes of 400-3400 m. Flowering: March-June.

Identification credit: Ashutosh Sharma Photographed in Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh.

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