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

26u. CAREX Linnaeus sect. LIMOSAE (Heuffel) Meinshauser, Trudy Imp. S.-Peterburgsk. Bot. Sada. 18: 283. 1901.

Peter W. Ball

Carex [unranked] Limosae Heuffel, Flora 27: 533. 1844

Plants loosely cespitose, short-rhizomatous; roots with dense yellow tomentum. Culms red- or purple-brown at base. Leaves: basal sheaths fibrous; sheath fronts membranous, spotted or streaked with red or pale brown; blades V-shaped in cross section when young, sometimes involute, glabrous. Inflorescences racemose, with 2–5 spikes; proximal bracts sheathless or sheath less than 4 cm; lateral spikes pistillate, androgynous, or gynecandrous, pedunculate, prophyllate; terminal spikes staminate, gynecandrous. Proximal pistillate scales with apex obtuse to acuminate or awned. Perigynia ascending, inflated, (3–)5–7-veined on abaxial face, veinless or 3–7-veined on adaxial face, stipitate or sessile, broadly elliptic or ovate, rounded-trigonous in cross section, base tapering or rounded, apex tapering or rounded to beak or beakless, minutely papillose; beak 0–0.5 mm, mouth entire or emarginate. Stigmas 3. Achenes trigonous, almost as large as bodies of perigynia; style deciduous or persistent portion protruding from perigynium mouth.

Species 6 (6 in the flora): cool temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere and South America.

The species of Carex sect. Limosae can be readily recognized by the dense yellowish indumentum on the roots. If collected without the roots they can be confused with species of C. sect. Racemosae, sect. Scitae, and sect. Paniceae.


Moore, D. M. and A. O. Chater. 1971. Studies of bipolar disjunct species I. Carex. Bot. Not. 124: 317–334.

1 Scales, at least some, on each spike with awns 1.5–12 mm.   (2)
+ Scales not awned, or with awn less than 1.5 mm.   (3)
2 (1) Perigynia 2.5–3.6 mm; scales with awn usually to 3mm; anthers 1.6–2.5 mm.   237 Carex magellanica
+ Perigynia 3.8–6.8 mm; scales with awn to 12 mm; anthers 3.3–5 mm.   238 Carex macrochaeta
3 (1) Pistillate scales 1.2–2 mm wide, narrower than perigynia.   (4)
+ Pistillate scales 2–3.8 mm wide, wider than perigynia.   (5)
4 (3) Proximal bracts equaling or exceeding inflorescences; terminal spikes 7–20 mm; pistillate scales usually exceeding perigynia.   237 Carex magellanica
+ Proximal bracts shorter than inflorescences; terminal spikes 20–50 mm; pistillate scales usually shorter than perigynia.   236 Carex barrattii
5 (3) Perigynia with beak 0.1–0.5 mm; leaf blades grayish blue-green, margins involute; culms usually aphyllopodic, without dead leaf remains at base.   233 Carex limosa
+ Perigynia not beaked; leaf blades green, margins sometimes involute or revolute; culms phyllopodic, usually with dead leaf remains at base.   (6)
6 (5) Lateral spikes with 2–10 perigynia; terminal spikes 1–2.5 mm wide; apex of pistillate scale obtuse, sometimes mucronate.   234 Carex rariflora
+ Lateral spikes with (7–)10–25 perigynia; terminal spikes 2–3 mm wide; apex of pistillate scale acute to acuminate, mucronate or shortly awned.   235 Carex pluriflora

Lower Taxa


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