Carex bigelowii

Torrey ex Schweinitz

Ann. Lyceum Nat. Hist. New York 1: 67. 1824.

Illustrated
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 23. Mentioned on page 400.

Plants cespitose or not. Culms acutely angled, 10–50 cm, scabrous. Leaves: sheaths of proximal leaves glabrous, fronts lacking spots and veins, apex concave; blades 1.5–4 mm wide. Inflorescences: proximal bract setaceous or foliaceous, shorter than inflorescence, 0.5–3 mm wide. Spikes erect; proximal (1–) 2–3 spikes pistillate, 0.7–3 cm × 3–4 mm, base cuneate or attenuate; terminal 1 (–2) spikes staminate. Pistillate scales black, equaling or shorter than perigynia, apex obtuse or acute, awnless. Perigynia ascending, green, spotted purple-black or mottled on apical 1/2, veinless, somewhat flattened, tightly enclosing the achenes, ellipsoid, 1.5–3.5 × 0.9–2 mm, dull, apex rounded or acute, papillose; stipe to 0.45 mm; beak 0–0.2 (–1) mm. Achenes not constricted, dull.

Distribution

V23 718-distribution-map.jpg

B.C., Man., N.B., N.W.T., Nunavut, Ont., Que., Sask., Yukon, Alaska, Maine, N.H., N.Y., Vt., Europe, Asia

Discussion

Subspecies 5 (2 in the flora).

Carex bigelowii is a highly variable, circumpolar species complex with four subspecies recognized in Europe (A. O. Chater 1980). The North American populations can be divided into an eastern and a western taxon, which cannot always be distinguished morphologically. They are recognized as two subspecies of a widely ranging complex for this treatment.

Carex bigelowii appears to be closely related to the western montane C. scopulorum; it is distinguished by its narrower leaves and narrower, ellipsoid perigynia. Tall plants of C. bigelowii may be confused with C. aquatilis (especially C. aquatilis var. minor) and can be distinguished by the short bracts, hypostomic leaves, and dull achenes of C. bigelowii. These two taxa have been reported to hybridize (M. G. Duman and S. D. Kryszczuk 1958) and have been artificially hybridized by J. S. Faulkner (1973), who found that these two species were very closely related.

Selected References

None.

Key

1 Perigynia green, spotted purple-black on apical 1/2, minutely papillose; stipe 0.15–0.45 mm; proximal pistillate spike loosely flowered, base often attenuate, less often cuneate. Carex bigelowii subsp. bigelowii
1 Perigynia green, often white at maturity, uniformly purple-brown on apical 1/2, strongly or minutely papillose; stipe 0–0.15 mm; proximal pistillate spike densely flowered, base cuneate, less often attenuate. Carex bigelowii subsp. lugens
... more about "Carex bigelowii"
biconvex +
not constricted +
papillose +
Lisa A. Standley +, Jacques Cayouette +  and Leo Bruederle +
Torrey ex Schweinitz +
shortened +
not +  and fibrous +
attenuate +  and cuneate +
0.02 cm0.2 mm <br />2.0e-4 m <br /> (0.1 cm1 mm <br />0.001 m <br />) +
bidentate +  and emarginate +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (0.02 cm0.2 mm <br />2.0e-4 m <br />) +
m--shaped +  and v--shaped +
1.5mm;4mm +
glumaceous +  and foliaceous +
2-ranked +  and arranged +
ascending +  and appressed +
scale-like +  and leaflike +
parallel +  and divergent +
terete +, rolled +  and plicate +
redbrown +  and brown +
10 cm100 mm <br />0.1 m <br /> (50 cm500 mm <br />0.5 m <br />) +
prophyllate +, subsessile +, pedunculate +  and staminate +
B.C. +, Man. +, N.B. +, N.W.T. +, Nunavut +, Ont. +, Que. +, Sask. +, Yukon +, Alaska +, Maine +, N.H. +, N.Y. +, Vt. +, Europe +  and Asia +
open +, pistillate +  and staminate +
hypogynous +  and subtending +
biconvex +  and trigonous +
multi-ranked +, 2-ranked +, 3-ranked +  and alternate +
basal +  and cauline +
with (1-)3-6(-30) bristles and/or scales +
mottled +, spotted purple-black +  and green +
0.15 cm1.5 mm <br />0.0015 m <br /> (0.35 cm3.5 mm <br />0.0035 m <br />) +
0.09 cm0.9 mm <br />9.0e-4 m <br /> (0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br />) +
2-3(-4)-carpellate +
3 (?) +  and 1 (?) +
0.05 cm0.5 mm <br />5.0e-4 m <br /> (0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br />) +
Ann. Lyceum Nat. Hist. New York +
adventitious +
basal +  and proximal +
2-keeled +
ladder-fibrillose +  and veined +
cylindric +
Illustrated +
staminate +  and pistillate +
0.7 cm7 mm <br />0.007 m <br /> (3 cm30 mm <br />0.03 m <br />) +
0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br /> (0.4 cm4 mm <br />0.004 m <br />) +
1 (?) +  and 3 (?) +
septate +, hollow +  and solid +
compressed +, terete +  and trigonous +
papillate +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (?) +  and 0.045 cm0.45 mm <br />4.5e-4 m <br /> (?) +
deciduous +
2-3(-4)-fid +
Carex sect. Acutae +, Carex sect. Cryptocarpae +  and Carex sect. Temnemis +
Carex bigelowii +
Carex sect. Phacocystis +
species +
, +  and staminate +
plant +, not +  and cespitose +