Sedges are grasslike native perennials and are among our earliest plants to flower, many at the same time as our early woodland wildflowers. Unlike grasses they have solid triangular stems (see Sawbeak Sedge (Carex stipata) photos A,C) which have no joints or nodes. Their leaves have tubular, undivided sheaths (see Heavy Sedge (Carex gravida) photos D,E) while those of grasses are usually split (see Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) photo G).  Leaves are also 3 ranked arising from all 3 sides of the stem.

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