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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 23 | Cyperaceae | Carex

197. Carex aquatilis Wahlenberg, Kongl. Vetensk. Acad. Nya Handl. 24: 165. 1803.

Plants not cespitose. Culms 20–150 cm. Leaves: basal sheaths red-brown or brown; sheaths of proximal leaves glabrous, fronts with indistinct spots, veinless, apex U-shaped; blades usually amphi-stomic, papillose on both surfaces. Inflorescences: proximal bract longer than inflorescence. Spikes: erect; proximal 2–6 spikes pistillate; terminal (1–)2–4 spikes staminate. Pistillate scales red-brown to purple-brown, apex obtuse or acute, awnless. Perigynia ascending, veinless, somewhat flattened, loosely enclosing achenes, ellipsoid or obovoid, dull, apex obtuse or acute, papillose. Achenes not constricted, glossy. 2n = 72–80.

Varieties 4 (4 in the flora): North America, Europe.

Carex aquatilis is circumboreal and variable; four extensively intergrading varieties are recognized in North America. The species is distinguished by amphistomic (epistomic in var. dives) papillose leaves, glabrous sheaths with a concave apex, perigynia that lack veins and are usually brown-spotted on the proximal half, and have glossy achenes.

1 Spikes pendent or the terminal erect; proximal peduncle to 11 cm; perigynia ellipsoid; beak purple-brown, 0.3–0.4 mm; culms scabrous on angles.   197b var. dives
+ Spikes erect; proximal peduncle not more than 4 cm; perigynia usually obovoid; beak pale or purple-brown, not more than 0.2 mm; culms glabrous or scabrous on angles.   (2)
2 (1) Pistillate scales pale brown with narrow red-brown margins and broad pale midvein.   197c var. substricta
+ Pistillate scales red- or purple-brown and narrow pale midvein.   (3)
3 (2) Perigynia pale brown; staminate spikes usually 2–4.   197a var. aquatilis
+ Perigynia purple-brown on apical 1/2; staminate spikes usually 1–2.   197d var. minor

Lower Taxa


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