44. Carex melanantha C. A. Meyer in Ledebour, Fl. Altaic. 4: 216. 1833.
黑花薹草 hei hua tai cao
Rhizome creeping, thick. Culms 8-30 cm tall, trigonous, firm, clothed at base with brownish remnants of bladeless and blade-bearing sheaths. Leaves shorter than or subequaling culm, blades linear, 3-6 mm wide, subleathery. Lowest involucral bract setaceous, sheathless, upper involucral bracts glumelike. Spikes 3-6, aggregated in a capitate inflorescence; terminal spike usually male or gynaecandrous (rarely mixed), ovate, 1-2.5 cm, sessile; lateral spikes female, ovate or oblong, 1-2 cm, sessile or lowest one with rather short peduncle. Female glumes ferruginous-brown, green at middle, oblong-ovate, 4-5 mm, margins narrowly white hyaline, apex acute. Utricles dark purple on upper part, shorter than glume, oblong or obovate, trigonous, 3-3.5 mm, leathery, without conspicuous veins except for 2 costas on edges, abruptly contracted at both ends, base shortly stipitate, beak short, emarginate at orifice. Nutlets pale yellow-brown, obovate or obovate-oblong, ca. 2 mm; style base not thickened; stigmas 3. Fl. and fr. Jun-Aug.
Alpine meadows and shady slopes; 2500-4500 m. Xinjiang [Afghanistan, Mongolia, Nepal, Russia (Siberia); C Asia].