Carex.pendula – A Common Garden Sedge

This is a Carex.pendula AKA Pendulous Sedge, growing in my garden. This picture isn’t really showing the plant at it’s best as I just trimmed it back and the cut edges of the leaves are clearly visible…. In this picture there are none of the hanging – pendulous in fact – flower-spikes that give this hardy sedge it’s common name.

Carex.pendula foliage

Carex.pendula just trimmed, no flowers are present yet, only leaves.

Here’s a better picture showing some of those gracefully pendulous flower-spikes. Carex.pendula is a monoecious plant – it bears ‘male’ and ‘female’ flowers (both on the same plant – separate plants bearing only male or female flowers are said to be dioecious). Female flowers have only stigmas and an ovary whilst male flowers have only anthers.

The top 2-3 spikes are usually all-male, with only anthers, while the lower spikes are usually all-female, with only stigmas and an ovary…..

Male flowers bearing anthers

Male flowers release very large amounts of pollen, which is spread by the wind.

Cutting across a leaf with a single-edged razor-blade shows the leaf to be a ‘W’ shape, with a prominent ‘keel’ – the middle and largest vein running the length of the leaf.

The lower side of these stiff and brittle leaves feel ‘scratchy’ and rough, and when I made some slides of these leaves it became very apparent why! The leaf has row upon row of stiff papillae on this lower surface. This image of a leaf cross-section stained and mounted onto a microscope slide shows this well, together with the leaf-vein structure, epidermis top and bottom etc….

Carex.pendula leaf microscope slide

Carex.pendula leaf cross-section as a microscope slide, stained and mounted.

A closer-in image shows internal details….

‘Keel’ (site of leaf mid-vein) of Carex.pendula leaf in cross section

The papillae of the lower leaf-blade surface are clearly visible in this image, giving the leaf it’s ‘bristly’ texture.

Carex.pendula leaf cross-section at region of leaf edge. Permanently mounted & stained microscope slide.

If you would like to purchase one of these actual slides, made by me, please visit the slides-for-sale page or use the contact-page to send me a message or ask any questions you may have.