386. Carex baileyi Britton, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club. 22: 220. 1895.
Carex de Bailey
Carex tentaculata Muhlenberg var. gracilis Boott, Ill. Carex, 94. 1860, not C. gracilis Ehrhart ex Schkuhr 1801
Plants densely to loosely cespitose; rhizomes short, no more than 10 cm. Culms sharply trigonous in cross section, 20–65 cm, scabrous-angled distally. Leaves: basal sheaths reddish purple; ligules as long as to longer than wide; blades dark green, flat to W-shaped, widest leaves 2.4–4(–5) mm wide, glabrous. Inflorescences 3–16(–22) cm; proximal bract 12–40(–55) cm, greatly exceeding inflorescence; proximal 1–2(–3) spikes pistillate, proximal spreading to pendent, the distal erect, 9–14(–15) mm thick, 2.5–3.5 times as long as wide; terminal 1 spike staminate. Pistillate scales narrowly oblong, 2.9–9.8 × 0.3–0.9 mm, as long as or shorter than perigynia, margins often ciliate, apex truncate to retuse, erose and prolonged into a scabrous awn. Staminate scales scabrous-awned, sometimes ciliate-margined. Perigynia ascending to spreading, strongly 5–9-veined, veins separate nearly to beak apex, broadly ovate to nearly orbiculate, 4.8–6.5(–7.6) × 1.8–2.7 mm, apex abruptly contracted; beak 2.2–4 mm, 0.7–1.3 length of body, bidentulate, smooth, teeth straight, 0.1–0.6 mm. Stigmas 3. Achenes brown, trigonous, papillose.
Fruiting Jun–Aug. Sandy, peaty, or gravelly pond, lake, and stream shores, sedge meadows, open swamps, seeps, ditches, usually in acidic soils; 200–1200 m; Que.; Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., N.H., N.Y., N.C., Pa., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va.
Carex baileyi, a taxon confined to the Appalachian Mountain region, is very similar in appearance to C. lurida; however, it is more delicate with narrower leaves and spikes and has proportionally longer and more abruptly beaked perigynia.