Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 1: 84. 1900.
Plants densely cespitose. Culms (16–) 30–70 (–95) cm. Leaves: sheath adaxially white-hyaline or summits often tinged brown or copper, U-shaped, not prolonged more than 2.8 mm; distal ligules 1–2.5 (–3.5) mm; blades (2–) 3–5 per fertile culm, 10–30 cm × (1.5–) 2–3 (–4) mm. Inflorescences usually open, often nodding, whitish, green, or gold to dark-brown, occasionally beaded, (1.7–) 2.5–5 cm × 10–15 (–17) mm; proximal internode 4–14 mm; 2d internode (2.5–) 4–10 mm; proximal bracts scalelike to bristlelike, shorter than inflorescences. Spikes 4–10, distant, distinct, oblanceloid to broadly ovoid, 8.5–20 × 3–9 mm, base acute to attenuate, apex tapered to truncate. Pistillate scales white, gold, coppery, or brown, with white or green to brown midstripe, lanceolate to broadly ovate, (3.4–) 4.2–5.8 mm, equaling or longer than and narrower than or equaling perigynia, margin white, 0.1–0.3 mm wide, apex obtuse to acuminate. Anthers early deciduous ro short-persistent. Perigynia appressed to ascending-spreading, often hyaline, white, green, or gold, brown or coppery over achene, conspicuously (0–) 4–11-veined abaxially, conspicuously 0–4 (–7) -veined adaxially, ovate or, sometimes, lanceolate, planoconvex or flat, (3.7–) 4.5–6 × 1.2–2 mm, 0.5–0.8 mm thick, length 2.8–3.1 times width, margin flat, including wing (0.1–) 0.2–0.4 (–0.5) mm wide, ciliate-serrulate, without glossy metallic sheen; beak green or gold to redbrown or chestnut-brown, white-hyaline at tip, cylindric, unwinged, ± entire for 0.4–1 mm, abaxial suture conspicuous with white-hyaline margin or inconspicuous, distance from beak tip to achene (1.6–) 1.9–3 mm. Achenes ovate or obovate, 1.4–2.1 (–2.7) × (0.8–) 1–1.5 mm, 0.4–0.6 mm thick. 2n = 76, 78.
Phenology: Fruiting spring–summer.
Habitat: Moist to wet meadows, open dry woods, rocky areas
Elevation: 10–3500 m
Greenland, Alta., B.C., Man., Nfld. and Labr., N.W.T., Ont., Que., Sask., Yukon, Alaska, Calif., Colo., Idaho, Ill., Maine, Mich., Minn., Mont., Nev., N.Dak., Oreg., S.Dak., Utah, Wash., Wyo.
Carex praticola is an uncommon and a local native plant in eastern North America. The distributions in southern Ontario and Illinois are introductions.
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