15b. Carex pseudofoetida subsp. afghanica Kukkonen, Ann. Bot. Fenn. 21: 384, fig. 3. 1984; in Rech.f., l.c. 202.
? C. enervis C.A. Meyer, sensu Dickoré 1995.
Stems 5-25 cm. Rhizome c. 2 mm in diam., stoloniferous. Stem 1-1.8 mm diam. Leaves c. 2/3 of stem length; sheaths 20-40 mm; blades 1.5-3 mm wide, folded or involute, seldom flat. Inflorescence of c. 7 spikes. Bracts short. Female glumes 2.8-4.3 x 1.4-2 mm, obtuse or acute, margins widely to almost completely scarious. Utricles 2.9-4.3 x 1.2-1.8 mm, incl. stipe 0.3-0.7 mm long, slightly inflated, smooth; beak smooth or scabrous.
Fl. Per.: June - September.
Type: Afghanistan, Badakshan, Wakhan, Darya-e Birgula-e Jelga Chelab, NW Kol-e Chaqmaqtin, 4200-4400 m, 20.VII.1971. O. Anders 7565 (M-Podlech!).
Moist alpine meadows, along rivulets; 2800-4700 m; Distribution: From Afghanistan and Pakistan eastwards to Bhutan.
C. pseudofoetida subsp. afghanica morphologically approaches the Caucasian subsp. acrifolia (V. Krecz.) Kukkonen [C. enervis C.A. Mey. subsp. acrifolia (V. Krecz.) Egorova].
Both form mats with characteristic, short, upcurving stolons. They are variable in size reaching considerable legth in moist habitats in low altitudes; in higher altitudes and in dry habitats plants remain short. Some samples resemble C. stenophylla subsp. stenophylloides, but habitat, moist high mountain meadows, stoloniferous rhizome, and non-suberous utricles keep C. pseudofoetida subsp. afghanica distinct. However, since high mountain specimens are mostly sterile or without mature utricles, variation is not yet fully understood.
Dickoré (l.c. 61, 1995) considers plants from Karakorum different from C. pseudofoetida subsp. afghanica, but according to him they ”match exactly” plants from the disjunct locality in Kuh-e Lalesar, Kerman, Iran, i.e. C. pseudofoetida subsp. acrifolia.
Dickoré (l.c. 1995) interpretes C. pseudofoetida subsp. afghanica as a synonym of C. enervis, but cites under C. enervis no other specimens, except the type of subsp. afghanica. Most of the specimens listed above are cited by Dickoré under C. pseudofoetida, e.g. Toppin 157, Miehe 2268, 2303, 2414, 2422, 2473, 2483. Furthermore Dickoré (l.c.) includes the plants from C. Asia called "C. maritima" (Stewart 79, 1972) under C. pseudofoetida, but I have included them here under C. stenophylla subsp. stenophylloides (Kukkonen, l.c. 1998). Further study is required.