39. Carex royleana Nees, Contr. Bot. India. 127. 1834; Kukkonen in Rech.f., Fl. Iran. 173: 257. 1998.
C. breviculmis R.Br. subsp. royleana (Nees) Kük. in Engler, Pflanzenr. IV.20, 38: 469. 1909.
Caespitose perennial, 15-25 cm. Rhizome short, horizontal or ascending. Stem c. 0.5 mm diam., sharply trigonous, scabrous along edges. Leaves c. 1/2 of stem length, those of sterile shoots longer; sheaths 10-20 mm, dark grey-brown, disintegrating into fibres, margin of scarious side concave; ligule c. 0.2 mm, scarious; blades 1.5-2.5 mm wide, keeled, margins recurved, margins of adaxial side papillose, margins, keel and adaxial surface scabrous towards apex. Inflorescence of 1 male spike and 2-3, mostly overlapping female spikes below. Bracts to overtopping inflorescence, sheath of lowest up to 3 mm. Male spike 4-14 x c. 1.5 mm, fusiform or club-shaped; male glumes 4.5-6.2 x 0.9-1.2 mm, acute or with arista up to 3.1 mm, scarious. Female spikes 4-12 x 2-3 mm, fusiform, ellipsoid or club-shaped, lax, lowest with short peduncle, erect; female glumes 3-3.4 x 1-1.3 mm, truncate, scarious, with scabrous arista up to 2 mm; utricles c. 2.8 x 1 mm, obovoid, conspicuously nerved, sparingly strigose, beak c. 0.4 mm, widely conical, truncate, strigose green, mouth margin scarious. Stigmas 3. Nut with wide annulus (no ripe material studied).
Fl. Per.: April-May.
Syntypes: NW Himalaya, Royle 36, Royle 152 (K!).
Mountain slopes from 2000 to 3000 m; Distribution.: From E Afghanistan eastwards along Himalayas; to be expected in Pakistan.
C. royleana belongs to C. breviculmis R. Br. complex. Collectively the complex extends from NW Himalaya to Japan and through Malaysia to Tasmania and New Zealand. Several names have been applied in different parts of this area. C. breviculmis was described from Tasmania. Clarke (1894) and Kükenthal (1909) included C. royleana Nees in Brown's species, latter treating it as subsp. royleana. Nelmes (Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris, N. Sér., Bot. 4: 83-182, 1955) considered C. royleana to be a good species (see also Fl. Hainanica 4: 343, 1977). Raymond (Mém. Jard. Bot. Montréal 53: 1-126, 1959) united it with C. leucochlora Bunge, originally described from China (see also Fl. Tsinglingensis 1: 249, 1976). Koyama in H.Hara, Stearn & L.H.J. Williams, Enum. Flow. Pl. Nepal (1978) and Kern & Nooteboom in Fl. Malesiana (1979) reverted back to the collective treatment; Dickoré (1995) does not list the species. The species complex is much in need of an overall revision.