26ww. CAREX Linnaeus sect. SPIROSTACHYAE (Drejer) L. H. Bailey in J. M. Coulter, Man. Bot. Rocky Mt. 381. 1885.
William J. Crins & A. A. Reznicek
Carex [unranked] Spirostachyae Drejer, Symb. Caricol., 10. 1844
Plants cespitose, short-rhizomatous. Culms red-brown at base. Leaves: basal sheaths not fibrous; sheath fronts membranous; blades not or sparingly septate-nodulose, V-shaped in cross section when young, glabrous. Inflorescences racemose, with 3–6 spikes; proximal nonbasal bracts leaflike, long-sheathing, sheath 4+ mm, longer than diameter of stem; lateral spikes pistillate, pedunculate, peduncle usually not longer than spike, prophyllate; terminal spike staminate. Proximal pistillate scales with apex acute or cuspidate. Perigynia ascending or spreading, yellow-or gray-green or brown, usually speckled reddish brown, strongly 10–16-veined, elliptic or ovate, rounded-trigonous in cross section, base cuneate, apex tapering to beak, glabrous; beak 0.4–1.4 mm, bidentate, teeth 0.2–0.4 mm. Stigmas 3. Achenes trigonous, smaller than bodies of perigynia; style deciduous.
Species ca. 15 (3 in the flora): introduced; Eurasia.
Carex sect. Spirostachyae is closely related to sect. Ceratocystis Dumortier and has often been included with it under the name “Extensae.” W. J. Crins and P. W. Ball (1988) clarified the distinctions between the two sections.
Crins, W. J. and P. W. Ball. 1988. Sectional limits and phylogenetic considerations in Carex section Ceratocystis (Cyperaceae). Brittonia 40: 38–47.