Libby Reuter and Joshua Rowan
January 2013

Off Highway 3
Granite City, IL
N38.604053 W090.217293

In winter, the dark stems of tall plants contrast with the ice at the edge of this stream, while this clear-glass Cairn created from vases, ornaments, a beer glass, and a chemistry beaker disappears into the landscape. Like the almost invisible Sedge Cairn, sedge plants, solid-stem grass-like vegetation with the botanical name Carex Cyperaceae, are difficult to distinguish from true grasses or Poaceae that have a hollow stem (examples include your lawn, and wheat, rice and other cultivated grains). We could have called this Cairn “Rushes” or Juncus Juncaceae, after another grass-like plant family with solid stems also growing near the water’s edge, but Sedge is more fun to say. The Web site BackyardNature discusses the differences and similarities among these botanical families.