24. Carex karoi (Freyn) Freyn, Oesterr. Bot. Z. 46: 132. 1896; R.R.Sewart, l.c. 78; Kukkonen in Rech.f., l.c. 226.
C. capillaris L. subsp. karoi Freyn, l.c. 40: 303. 1890. C. delicata C.B. Clarke in Kew Bull. Add. Ser. 8: 79. 1908.
Tight tufts forming perennial, 15-60 cm. Stem obtusely trigonous or terete, grey-green, smooth. Rhizome short. Leaves c. 1/4 of stem length, rigid, often slightly falcate; sheaths 10-30 mm, grey to brown, fibrous; ligule c. 0.2 mm; blades 1.5-2.5 mm wide, flat, keel, and often also midnerve above scabrous, adaxial side glossy, finely papillose. Inflorescence with terminal spike totally male or gynecandrous, overtopping distant (1-)2-4 female spikes. Bracts narrow, lowest c. equalling its spike, sheaths to 20 mm. Terminal spike 6-15 mm, narrowly ovoid (male) or club-shaped (gynecandrous); male glumes c. 2.7 x 1.4 mm, very light brown, apex widely rounded, margins scarious. Female spikes 8-15 mm, with 5-17 utricles, lax, upper two often overlapping; female glumes 2.2-2.4 x 1.1-1.2 mm, caducous, very light brown, apex wide, rounded, ciliate, sometimes with scabrous mucro; utricles 2.7-3 x c. 1.2 mm, ellipsoid, fusiform, 2-veined, olive-green to brown, smooth, glossy, beak 0.3-0.6 mm, colourless, obscurely bidentate, sometimes scabrous. Stigmas 3. Nut 1.5-1.7 x 0.8-0.9 mm, ellipsoid, triangular, greenish brown to brown, finely reticulate.
Fl. Per.: June-July.
Type: Russia, Siberia, "Schattige Waldbergwiesen am Irkutsk", Juni 1888, F. Karo 138.
Moist slopes, along brooks, 3000-3500 m; Distribution: Central Asia from Sayan Mts. to Pakistan and Kashmir.
According to treatment of sect. Capillares by Löve, Löve & Raymond (Can. J. Bot. 35: 715-761. 1958) both C. karoi var. karoi and C. capillaris subsp. chlorostachys (Stev.) Löve, Löve & Raymond may occur in our area. However, according to Egorova [in A. I. Vvedensky, Consp. Fl. Asiae Mediae 5: 6-98, 1976] only C. karoi extends from north until Kashmir. The closest localities of C. capillaris are, she points out to be, in Tian Shan Mts. Later, after seeing type specimens, Egorova (Novit. Syst. Pl. Vascul. 17:107, 1980; 1999) separated from C. karoi another element, C. delicata C.B. Clarke, both based on Karo collections. Variation in present material is considerable, and Hartman 248 matches well with isotype specimen of C. delicata in (H). However, more material from Central Asia is needed.