Three-way Sedge (Dulichium arundinaceum arundinaceum)

Three-way Sedge (Dulichium arundinaceum)

The Three-way Sedge (Dulichium arundinaceum) is an emergent plant found on the shores of French Hill Pond. It belongs to the Sedge Family (Cyperaceae) and order Cyperales. The order and family names come from the Latin for a type of rush, but this plant is a sedge not a rush. The Three-way Sedge (Dulichium arundinaceum) is grown commercially and sold as "dwarf bamboo" for water gardens. The genus name is the Latin name for an island in the Ionian Sea. This genus is monotypic, that is, it contains only one species. The species name is from the Latin for "reed." The photograph above was taken on the west shore of French Hill Pond in October 2013.

Three-way Sedge (Dulichium arundinaceum) Detail

 The leaves on this plant are linear and clasping the culms.  A culm is a jointed stem of grass usually hollow except at the joints. Three-way Sedge culms are hollow between the joints (nodes) and can be 40 inches (100 centimeters) tall but only a maximum of 0.15 inches (4 millimeters) in diameter. A culm may have three to 15 leaves. The leaves can be up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) long and up to 1/3 inch (8 millimeters) wide. There may also be from two to 14 green, bladeless sheaths on each culm. The flowers are green with yellow margins and clustered in a spikelet resembling the leaves as shown in the following photograph.

Three-way Sedge Flower

The root system is rhizomic.

This sedge will hybridize with other species of sedges and there are many species of sedges in Maine. Therefore, many sedges found around French Hill Pond may be hybrids.

Three-way Sedges are only found in wet areas.  Like other emergent plants, Three-way Sedges help filter runoff water before it enters the pond and stabilize the shoreline. There are two varieties of this sedge: arundinaceum, found in French Hill Pond, and a shorter variety, boreale Lepage.


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