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

288. Carex hitchcockiana Dewey, Amer. J. Sci. Arts. 10: 274, plate E, fig. 17. 1826.

Carex de Hitchcock

Carex oligocarpa Willdenow var. hitchcockiana (Dewey) Kükenthal

Plants densely cespitose; rhizome internodes 1.8–2.5 mm thick. Culms yellow-brown to dark brown at base, 15–60 cm. Leaves: sheaths hispidulous; blades green, widest blades (3–)3.4–5.4(–6.5) mm wide, glabrous abaxially or sparsely hispidulous on midrib. Inflorescences 0.19–0.48 of culm height; peduncles of lateral spikes smooth or barely scaberulous; peduncles of terminal spikes (4.2–)7.5–37(–43) mm, much exceeding lateral spikes; proximal bract with sheath tight, abaxially scabrous, sheath front apex convex, elongated (0.6–)1.6–4.9(–6.6) mm beyond apex; ligules 3.3–5 mm; distal bract usually much exceeding terminal spike. Spikes 3–5, separate or distal 2–4 spikes overlapping; lateral spikes pistillate, with 2–7 perigynia, 6–29 × 3.8–6.8 mm, ratio of spike length (in mm) to flower number = 3.5–4.8; longest terminal spikes 14–34(–42) × 1.3–3(–3.5) mm. Pistillate scales (4.1–)5.6–9.4(–11.6) × 1.6–2.6(–3.3) mm, margins whitish, denticulate, apex with awn 1.1–6.8 mm. Staminate scales 5.2–6.9 × 1.5–1.7 mm. Anthers 3.4–4.2 mm. Perigynia distichously imbricate, 52–59-veined, unwrinkled, obovoid or narrowly obovoid, obtusely triangular in cross section, (4.5–)4.6–5.6(–6.2) × 1.9–2.2(–2.3) mm, (2.1–)2.3–2.8(–3) times as long as wide, dull, base gradually tapered, apex abruptly contracted; beak excurved, (0.5–)0.8–1.3 mm. Achenes obovoid-ellipsoid, 3.2–3.9(–4.2) × (1.6–)1.8–2.1 mm, tightly enveloped by perigynia; stipe bent 45–70°, 0.4–0.6 mm; beak bent more than 90°, 0.3–0.5 mm.

Fruiting spring–summer. Mesic, usually rocky, deciduous forests, usually with highly diverse vascular plant communities, often in calcium-rich loams on slopes above streams; 60–800 m; Ont., Que.; Ala., Ark., Conn., D.C., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., N.J., N.Y., Ohio, Okla., Pa., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.

Carex hitchcockiana is infrequent and local. It often grows with C. albursina, C. jamesii, and C. oligocarpa.


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