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Center for Prairie Studies


The Cyperaceae plant family includes sedges (Carex spp.), bulrushes (Schoenoplectus spp.), cottongrasss- es (Eriophorum spp.), spikerushes (Eleocharis spp.), and in Iowa, over 160 species of grass-like, tufted plants with reduced flowers, found primarily in wetlands, but also in prairies, savannas, and woodlands. While identification of these species can be difficult, knowledge of diversity within the Cyperaceae family is critical for assessing habitat floristic quality, collect- ing seeds for restoration projects, and documenting distributions of common and rare plants.