108. Carex orthostemon Hayata, J. Coll. Sci. Imp. Univ. Tokyo. 30: 389. 1911.
直蕊薹草 zhi rui tai cao
Carex breviculmis R. Brown var. cupulifera (Hayata) Y. C. Tang & S. Yun Liang; C. orthostemon var. cupulifera Hayata.
Plants densely tufted with short erect rhizome. Culms slender, 6-30 cm tall, ± recurved. Leaves shorter than to briefly overtopping culms, blades 2-5 mm wide; sheaths short, brownish, eventually disintegrating into brown fibers. Involucral bracts shortly sheathing (3-6 mm), lower 1 or 2 bladed and surpassing spikes. Spikes 2-4, subfastigiate or lowest spaced; terminal spike male, pale brownish, linear-oblong, several flowered; lateral spikes female, ovoid to oblong, 5-20 mm, laxly several flowered, subsessile or lower ones with short enclosed peduncle. Female glumes tinged with light brown, ovate, ca. 2 mm, costa ending in a short mucro at acute apex. Utricles much longer than glume, lanceolate-oblong, suberect, 3.5-4.5 mm, sparsely pubescent, slenderly many veined, base gradually narrowed to a shortly stipe, apex gradually attenuate into a short beak, orifice shallowly 2-lobed. Nutlets tightly enveloped, lanceolate-oblong, 2.5-3 mm, base shortly stipitate, apex annulate; style base dilated; stigmas 3.
● Grassy openings of mountain forests. Taiwan.
This is a good species that can be readily separated from the widespread Carex breviculmis not only by its slender lanceolate-oblong (vs. obovate) utricles but by its subleathery (vs. herbaceous) leaves.