Carex sect. Paniceae
in J. C. Loudon, Hort. Brit., 376. 1830.
Plants loosely cespitose or, usually, colonial, rhizomatous. Culms brown or purple at base. Leaves: basal sheaths sometimes fibrous; sheath fronts membranous; blades M-shaped in cross-section when young, adaxial side of blades with 2 lateral-veins more prominent than midvein, not septate-nodulose, widest leaf-blade usually less than 5 mm wide, papillose on abaxial surface, glabrous. Inflorescences racemose, with 2–4 (–5) spikes; proximal bracts leaflike, long-sheathing, sheath more than 4 mm, longer than diameter of stem; lateral spikes pistillate, pedunculate, prophyllate; terminal spike staminate, solitary. Proximal pistillate scales with apex obtuse to short-awned. Perigynia ascending to spreading, yellowbrown to dark-brown when mature, distinctly or indistinctly veined, with 2, strong, marginal veins, sessile, ovate to obovate, obtusely trigonous to circular in cross-section, base tapering, apex tapering or rounded, beaked or not, smooth or minutely papillose, glabrous; beak 0–1.8 (–2.2) mm, orifice entire or bidentate. Stigmas 3. Achenes trigonous, smaller than bodies of perigynia; style deciduous. x = 16 to 26+3.
Temperate and cooler latitudes of North America and Eurasia, mountains of Central America and South America
Species 14 (10 in the flora).
Many species in Carex sect. Paniceae are calciphiles.
|1||Perigynium apex contracted to cylindric beak (0.4–)0.6–1.8(–2.2) mm.||> 2|
|1||Perigynium apex tapering and beakless, indistinctly beaked, or contracted to beak less than 0.5 mm.||> 4|
|2||Bladeless basal sheaths and proximal leaf sheaths pale brown; culms, leaves, and perigynia not or very sparsely papillose.||Carex vaginata|
|2||Bladeless basal sheaths and proximal leaf sheaths strongly tinged with reddish purple; culms, leaves, and perigynia heavily papillose.||> 3|
|3||Perigynia 4.2–6.8 mm; beak 0.8–1.8(–2.2) mm with strongly asymmetrically flared apex.||Carex polymorpha|
|3||Perigynia 3.4–4.2 mm; beak 0.5–1 mm with apex not distinctly flared.||Carex californica|
|4||Lateral spikes nodding on flexible peduncles.||Carex laxa|
|4||Lateral spikes erect or ascending on stiff peduncles.||> 5|
|5||Perigynia strongly ascending, beakless or cuneately tapering to erect, straight beak; leaves coriaceous, channeled, glaucous.||Carex livida|
|5||Perigynia ascending to spreading, concavely tapering (at least on 1 side) to deflexed, curved beak; leaves herbaceous, flat or folded, not or slightly glaucous.||> 6|
|6||Bladeless basal sheaths and proximal leaf sheaths strongly tinged with reddish purple; plants forming loose clumps to extensive closed colonies of vegetative shoots from superficial rhizomes.||> 7|
|6||Bladeless basal sheaths and proximal leaf sheaths brownish or faintly, irregularly tinged with reddish purple; plants usually with vegetative shoots widely scattered and inconspicuous from deep rhizomes.||> 8|
|7||Widest leaves 1.8–3(–4) mm wide; plants colonial with longest rhizomes 2.5–18 cm; woodlands.||Carex woodii|
|7||Widest leaves 3.5–6 mm wide; plants loosely cespitose with longest rhizomes to 2 cm; granite balds and cliffs.||Carex biltmoreana|
|8||Inflorescences usually 1.7–3.5(–4.3) times as long as bract (measured from node) of proximal nonbasal spike; culms usually smooth distally.||Carex panicea|
|8||Inflorescences usually 0.9–1.6 times as long as bract (measured from node) of proximal nonbasal spike; culms often scabrous distally.||> 9|
|9||Achenes 1.7–2.2(–2.5) mm wide; ligules 0.4–1.2 times as long as wide.||Carex meadii|
|9||Achenes 1.2–1.6(–1.8) mm wide; ligules (0.8–)1–2 times as long as wide.||Carex tetanica|