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33. Carex Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 972. 1753.

薹草属 tai cao shu

Authors: Lun-Kai Dai, Prof. Song-Yun Liang, Shuren Zhang, Yancheng Tang, Tetsuo Koyama & Gordon C. Tucker

Herbs, perennial; rhizome usually stoloniferous. Culms tufted or sparse, lateral or central, erect, trigonous, bladeless sheathed at base. Leaves basal or basal and cauline, flat, rarely involute or revolute on margins, linear or lorate, rarely lanceolate, sheathed at base. Involucral bracts leaflike, rarely scale-shaped or setaceous, sheathed or not. Flowers unisexual, 1 male flower or 1 female flower in a unisexual spikelet, female spikelet included by prophyll, prophyll wholly connate at margins into utricle, sometimes reduced spikelet axis present in utricle, with scalelike bractlet at base. Spikes 1 to numerous, usually numerous spikes arranged in spicate, racemose, or paniculate inflorescence, composed of many unisexual or bisexual spikes, bisexual spike androgynous or gynaecandrous, usually plants monoecious, rarely dioecious, pedunculate or sessile, with or without sheathlike or utriculiform cladoprophyll at base; male flower with (2 or)3 stamens, filaments distinct; female flower with 1 pistil, style slightly slender, persistent or deciduous, base usually not thickened; stigmas 2 or 3. Utricles trigonous, plano-convex or biconvex, with slightly long or short beak. Nutlets rather tightly or loosely enveloped in utricle, trigonous or plano-convex.

About 2,000 species: cosmopolitan; 527 species (260 endemic) in three subgenera and 69 sections (two endemic) in China.

Taxa incertae sedis

Carex aristata R. Brown var. lanceisquama Handel-Mazzetti, Symb. Sin. 7: 1270. 1936.

No specimens were seen by the present authors. The type is from NW Yunnan.

Carex esquirolii H. Léveillé & Vaniot, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 53: 315. 1906.

No specimens were seen by the present authors. The plant, a member of Carex subg. Vignea, cannot be confidently associated with any known species based on the description. The type is from Guizhou.

Carex polycephala Boott var. simplex Kükenthal in Handel-Mazzetti, Symb. Sin. 7: 1268. 1936.

No specimens were seen by the present authors. The type is from Yunnan.

1 Spikes numerous, all bisexual, sessile, usually densely arranged in spicate inflorescence, cladoprophyll not present; stigmas usually 2, rarely 3.   3 C. subg. Vignea
+ Spikes few to numerous, unisexual or bisexual, pedunculate, rarely shortly pedunculate to subsessile, rarely single and terminal, usually loosely arranged in racemose or paniculate inflorescence, rarely in spicate inflorescence, cladoprophyll present; stigmas usually 3, rarely 2   (2)
2 (1) Spikes bisexual and androgynous, very rarely unisexual, usually arranged in complex inflorescence, cladoprophyll utriculiform at spike base, with a female flower.   1 C. subg. Vigneastra
+ Spikes unisexual, or unisexual and bisexual, rarely all bisexual, spikes 1 to several borne in an involucral bract sheath, rarely arranged in complex inflorescence, cladoprophyll sheathlike, without female flower.   2 C. subg. Carex

  • List of lower taxa


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