413. Carex cryptolepis Mackenzie, Torreya. 14: 157. 1914.
Carex à écailles cachées
Plants cespitose. Culms straight, 10–50 cm, tallest ones 25–50 cm. Leaves of flowering stems usually shorter than culms, 5–20 cm × 1.5–2.9 mm; ligules on distal cauline leaves truncate or rounded. Inflorescences: peduncles of terminal staminate spikes 0.5–8 mm, 0.2–0.5 length of staminate spikes; bracts to 20 cm × 1.1–2.9 mm, 1.5–4 times as long as inflorescences; inner band of sheaths concave or truncate. Spikes: proximal pistillate spikes (1–)2–5, approximate, subsessile or short-pedunculate, globose to elliptic, 8.5–19.9 × 4.1–9.8 mm; terminal staminate spikes pedunculate, 12–21 × 1.3–2.7 mm. Scales: pistillate scales yellowish green, inconspicuous among perigynia, 1.7–2.6 × 0.8–1.2 mm; staminate scales yellowish green, ovate, 2.9–4.4 × 0.8–1.6 mm, apex obtuse or acute to acuminate. Anthers 1.1–2.9 mm. Perigynia reflexed, yellowish green, 3.5–4.8 × 1.1–1.7 mm, apex gradually narrowed; beak 1.4–2.5 mm, forming an angle of 13–48° with body, smooth. Achenes 1.2–1.5 × 1–1.2 mm. 2n = 64.
Fruiting Jun–Aug. Acidic, sandy or organic substrates on open, emergent shorelines, not found on lime-rich soils; 0–500 m; N.B., Nfld. and Labr., N.S., Ont., Que.; Conn., Ind., Maine, Mass., Mich., Minn., N.H., N.J., N.Y., Ohio, R.I., Vt., Wis.
The name Carex flava var. fertilis Peck has been misapplied to C. cryptolepis.