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Cold sphagnum bogs.
Circumboreal. In North America occurs south to NJ, PA, IN, IA, and CA.
Herbaceous perennial to 40 cm. Leaves alternate with a dilated sheath; basal leaves clustered; cauline leaves 1-3, well seperated; blades erect, 1-3 mm x 5-30 cm. Flowers in racemes 3-10 cm long, the lowest bract foliaceous, the second lowest small or bladeless, the others reduced to sheaths; tepals yellow-green, lance-ovate; 2-3 mm; stamens 6, free; carpals 3, occasionally more. Fruit 6-8 mm, the seeds without endosperm.
Flowers late spring
Wetland indicator: Obligate
The only species in this family. Very rare in the Chicago region. Also rare in NY, although there may be populations in the Adirondacks that have not yet been discovered; I found this plant in a bog in the Adirondacks after a professor made a wager that no one would be able to find a new species there...he still owes me a case of beer.
Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of
Northeastern United States
and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY
Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.
USDA, NRCS. 2002.
The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov).
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
Michael Hough © 2009