52. Carex infuscata Nees, Contr. Bot. India. 125. 1834; R.R.Stewart, l.c. 78; Kukkonen, l.c. 273.
C. alpina Swartz subsp. infuscata (Nees) Kük., Engler, Pflanzenr. IV.20, 38: 386. 1909; C. trispiculata Boeck., Cyper. Nov. 1:45. 1888; C.atrofurfur Koyama in Acta Phytotax. Geobot. 16: 166. 1956.
Caespitose perennial, 5-50(-100) cm. Stem slender, sharply trigonous, scabrid and papillose above. Leaves from 1/2 to 2/3 of stem length; sheaths (10-)20-50 mm, grey to dark brown, margin of scarious side straight or concave; ligule 0.2-0.5 mm, slightly arched; blades 1.5-3.5 mm wide, flat, margins usually recurved, smooth or towards apex scabrous, lower side grey, densely papillose, upper side not conspicuously papillose. Inflorescence of (1-)2-4(-5) spikes, grouped closely together. Lowest bracts usually overtopping inflorescence, evaginate. Spikes 4-8 x 3-4 mm, globose, male flowers variously arranged, on top and/or below or in middle of spike, lower frequently entirely female, variegated; glumes 2.4-2.8 x 1.1-1.6 mm, ovate or triangular, acute, frequently with barbed c. 0.3 mm mucro; utricles 2-3.7 x 1.1-1.4 mm, green, later yellow, upper part densely papillose, sometimes scabrous, beak 0.3-0.8 mm, cylindrical or conical, bidentate, papillose, green, ostiole margins black-brown. Stigmas 3. Nut 1.5-2 x 1-1.1 mm, including c.0.2 mm peristent style base, turbinate, triangular, from yellowish to greenish brown.
Fl. Per.: May – August.
Syntypes: Royle 118 and 123 (K!); ? Wallich 3381 (K).
On moist meadows, mostly along rivers and streams; Distribution: From Afghanistan and Pakistan eastwards to Sikkim.
In treatments of C. infuscata and related species of sect. Atratae subsect. Alpinae (Kalela in Ann. Bot. Soc. Vanamo 19,3, 1944), position of staminate flowers in spike has been emphasized (e.g. Raymond in Koeie & Rechinger, Dan. Vidensk. Selsk. Biol. Skr. 14, 4: 5-35, 1965). For example, staminate flowers are said to be at the top of spikes in C. trispiculata Boeck. (holotype from India, Garhwal, Schlagintweit 10056 BM!), but this could not be confirmed in the material seen. It appears that less emphasis should be given to this character in sections Atratae and Aulocystis. Accordingly, Bowes Lyon 166, Chitral (BM), cited by Stewart (1972) under C. gracilenta Boott, is included here into C. infuscata.