Carex sect. Careyanae
in H. G. A. Engler, Pflanzenr. 20[IV,38]: 522. 1909.
Plants densely or loosely cespitose, short-rhizomatous. Culms brown or purple at base. Leaves: basal sheaths not fibrous; sheath fronts membranous; blades M-shaped in cross-section when young, adaxial side of blades with 2 lateral-veins more prominent than midvein, leaves often over 10 mm wide, cauline leaves sometimes bladeless, glabrous. Inflorescences racemose, with 3–5 (–6) spikes; proximal nonbasal bracts leaflike or bladeless, long-sheathing; lateral spikes pistillate, frequently basal, sometimes with 1–2 staminate flowers proximally, pedunculate, prophyllate; terminal spike staminate. Proximal pistillate scales with apex obtuse to awned. Perigynia ascending, distinctly 8-veined or more, sessile, broadly to narrowly ovate, acutely trigonous in cross-section, base tapering, truncate, apex tapering to beak, glabrous; beak less than or more than 5 mm, orifice entire. Stigmas 3. Achenes trigonous, smaller than bodies of perigynia; style deciduous.
Temperate e North America
Species 8 (8 in the flora).
Eight species formerly included in sect. Laxiflorae in recent floras have been segregated into sect. Careyanae. See R. F. C. Naczi et al. (2001) for distinguishing these sections and also discussion under sect. Laxiflorae.
|1||Basal sheaths purple or reddish purple.||> 2|
|1||Basal sheaths white to tan or brown.||> 4|
|2||Widest leaf blades (2–)3–6(–7) mm wide; peduncles of lateral pistillate spikes usually drooping.||Carex austrocaroliniana|
|2||Widest leaf blades 10–25(–32) mm wide; peduncles of lateral pistillate spikes usually erect or spreading, rarely drooping.||> 3|
|3||Bracts from middle and proximal portions of culms bladeless or with blades 0.8–2 cm; perigynia 3.7–4.9 mm; longest lateral spike with 9–13 peryginia.||Carex plantaginea|
|3||Bracts from middle and proximal portions of culms with blades 2.1–9.2 cm; perigynia 5–6.6 mm; longest lateral spike with 4–9 perigynia.||Carex careyana|
|4||Leaf blades of vegetative shoots 3.8–9 times wider than bract blades; widest leaves (7–)11–28 mm wide; bract blades from middle and proximal portions of culms 2–6.2 cm; leaves glaucous.||Carex platyphylla|
|4||Leaf blades of vegetative shoots 1–3.5 times wider than bract blades; widest leaves 0.8–14 mm wide; bract blades from middle and proximal portions of culms (1–)4.5–28 cm; leaves green or glaucous.||> 5|
|5||Proximal scales of lateral spikes sterile or subtending a staminate flower; pistillate scales 2.5–3.2 mm.||Carex laxiculmis|
|5||Proximal scales of lateral spikes subtending perigynia; pistillate scales 1.3–2.2 mm.||> 6|
|6||Staminate spikes (1–)1.2–2.7 mm wide; staminate scales acute, those from center of spike 3.6–5.5 mm; vegetative shoots shorter than or slightly taller than culms, tallest vegetative shoot 0.5–1.3(–1.8) times as tall as tallest flowering culm.||Carex digitalis|
|6||Staminate spikes 0.6–1.4(–1.6) mm wide; staminate scales obtuse, those from center of spike 2.6–3.6(–3.8) mm; vegetative shoots taller than culms, tallest vegetative shoot (1.4–)1.7–3.7(–4.9) times as tall as tallest flowering culm.||> 7|
|7||Plants densely cespitose; perigynia 4–8(–9), distichously overlapping; peduncles of proximal spikes usually drooping; blade of bract of distal lateral spike (12–)17–51 times as long as wide; longest staminate spike (8.3–)9.6– 16(–21.1) mm.||Carex cumberlandensis|
|7||Plants loosely or densely cespitose; perigynia (6–)8–13, spirally overlapping; peduncles of proximal spikes usually erect; blade of bract of distal lateral spike 5.6–17(–26) times as long as wide; longest staminate spike (3.5–)4.5–10.2(–11.5) mm.||Carex abscondita|