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Russet Sedge

Carex saxatilis L.

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Carex saxatilis is highly variable in North America. Plants from western North America, often named C. physocarpa, tend to be robust with long peduncles on the pistillate spikes, wide leaves, and large perigynia. These characters decrease in size eastward across North America with successively smaller plants usually referred to as C. saxatilis and C. miliaris. This weak east/west cline is confounded by large amounts of variation within small geographic areas and phenotypic plasticity. B. A. Ford et al. (1991) and B. A. Ford and P. W. Ball (1992) have demonstrated that these segregates represent elements in a continuum rather than discrete taxa.

Hybrids between Carex saxatilis and C. vesicaria (= C. ×stenolepis Lessing; = C. ×mainensis Porter ex Britton) and C. saxatilis and C. utriculata (= C. ×physocarpoides Lepage) have been found in North America (B. A. Ford et al. 1993). These hybrids are infrequent, largely sterile, and intermediate in morphology between the two parents.

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Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
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Flora of North America Vol. 23: 500, 502, 503, 506, 507 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
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Description

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Plants usually loosely cespitose; rhizomes short, congested. Culms trigonous in cross section, 8–90 cm, scabrous distally. Leaves: basal sheaths reddish brown; ligules as wide as to slightly longer than wide; blades mid to dark green, V-shaped, sometimes with revolute margins, 0.9–6.3 mm wide, glabrous. Inflorescences 2.5–14(–20) cm; proximal bract 0.6–16(–29) cm, shorter than or equaling inflorescence; proximal 1–3 spikes pistillate, erect or the proximal often pendent; terminal 1–3 spikes staminate. Pistillate scales ovate, 1.9–4.3(–5) × 0.9–2.1 mm, as long as or shorter than perigynia, margins entire, apex obtuse or acute, awnless. Perigynia ascending, often dark-colored, obscurely few-veined, veins not running to beak, tightly investing achene, elliptic, 2.2–5.5 × 1.1–2.9 mm, apex abruptly contracted; beak 0.2–0.8 mm, bidentulate, teeth straight, to 0.3 mm. Stigmas 2. Achenes yellow, biconvex, smooth. 2n = 78, 80.
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Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 23: 500, 502, 503, 506, 507 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
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Flora of North America @ eFloras.org
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Distribution

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Greenland; St. Pierre and Miquelon; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr., N.W.T., N.S., Nunavut, Ont., Que., Sask., Yukon; Alaska, Colo., Maine, Mont., Utah, Wash., Wyo.; Eurasia.
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Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 23: 500, 502, 503, 506, 507 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
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Flowering/Fruiting

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Fruiting summer.
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Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 23: 500, 502, 503, 506, 507 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
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Habitat

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Fens, bogs, wet tundra, roadside ditches, shores of lakes, ponds, and slow moving streams, often in shallow water; 0–3700m.
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Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 23: 500, 502, 503, 506, 507 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
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Synonym

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Carex ambusta Boott; C. compacta R. Brown ex Dewey; C. miliaris Michaux; C. physocarpa C. Presl; C. rhomalea (Fernald) Mackenzie
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Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 23: 500, 502, 503, 506, 507 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
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Flora of North America @ eFloras.org
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Flora of North America Editorial Committee
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Comprehensive Description

provided by North American Flora
Carex miliaris Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 2: 174. 1803
"Carex pulla Gooden." A. Gray, Man. ed. 5. 602. 1867.
Carex pulla var. (?) miliaris A. Gray, Man. ed. 5. 602. 1867. (Based on C. miliaris Michx.)
Carex miliaris var. Olney, Caric. Bor. -Am. 12. 1872. (From Moosehead Lake, Maine.)
Carex saxatilis var. (?) miliaris L. H. Bailey, Bot. Gaz. 9: 120. 1884. (Based on C. miliaris Michx.)
Carex miliaris var. obtusa L. H. Bailey, Mem. Torrey .Club 1 : 36. 1889. (Type from Marguerite
River, lower Canada.) Carex miliaris var. major L. H. Bailey, Mem. Torrey Club 1 : 36. 1889. (Based on C. miliaris var.
Olney.) "Carex rotundata Wahl." Fernald, Rhodora 3: 49. 1901. (As to Maine plant.) "Carex saxatilis L." Fernald, Rhodora 3: 50. 1901. (As to Mt. Katahdin plant.) Carex saxatilis var. rhomalea Fernald, Rhodora 3: 50. 1901. (Based on C. miliaris var. major
Bailey.) Carex miliaris f. major "L. H. Bailey" Kiikenth. in Engler, Pflanzenreich 4 2 °: 719. 1909. (Based on
C. miliaris var. major L. H. Bailey.) Carex rhomalea Mackenzie, Bull. Torrey Club 37: 246. 1910. (Based on C. saxatilis var. rhomalea
Fernald.)
Rootstocks long-creeping, slender, tough, the culms arising one to several together, slender but stiff and rather wiry, 2-8 dm. high, shorter than to exceeding the leaves, phyllopodic, sharply triangular, smooth or slightly roughened above, purplish-red-tinged at base, the basal sheaths breaking and becoming somewhat filamentose, the dried-up leaves of the previous year conspicuous; leaves with well-developed blades usually 4-6 to a fertile culm, on the lower fourth, sparingly septate-nodulose, the blades light-green, stiff, involute, or almost filiform, usually 1-2 dm. long, 1-3 mm. wide towards the base, much narrower above, smooth, except at apex; sterile-culm leaves longer and rougher; sheaths tight, hyaline ventrally, often yellowish-brown-tinged, concave at mouth, the ligule about as wide as long or wider than long, rounded or retuse at apex; staminate spike solitary (or often with a smaller sessile one at its base), slender-peduncled, narrowly linear, 1-4 cm. long, 2-3 mm. wide, the peduncle nearly smooth or roughish, the scales oblong-obovate, obtuse, light-brown to dark-brown with lighter midrib and white-hyaline margins; pistillate spikes usually 2, more or less strongly separate, erect, sessile or short-peduncled, the peduncles varying from much shorter than to about three fourths as long as the spikes, the spikes linearto oblong-cylindric, or even suborbicular, 0.5-2 cm. long, 4-7 mm. wide, densely flowered, containing 15-40 appressed to ascending-spreading perigynia in several rows; lower bract leaf -like, narrowly dark-tinged and auricled at base, sheathless or very nearly so, usually exceeding the inflorescence but sometimes shorter; upper bract much reduced; scales ovate, dark-brown to light-brown with conspicuous lighter midrib and very narrow hyaline margins, as wide below as the perigynia and varying from cuspidate or short-acuminate and slightly longer than the perigynia (the lower) to obtusish or acute and shorter than the perigynia (the upper) ; perigynia ovoid, plano-convex or unequally biconvex, 2.5-3.5 mm. long, 2 mm. wide, not inflated at maturity, 2-edged, smooth, shining, membranaceous, puncticulate, dull-greenish-yellow or brownish-tinged, flat or slightly convex and nerveless ventrally, obscurely few-nerved and convex dorsally, round-truncate at base and sessile, abruptly minutely beaked, the beak 0.5 mm. long, brownish-tinged, entire or emarginate or minutely toothed, achenes lenticular, obovoid, 2-2.5 mm. long, 1.5-1.75 mm. wide, closely enveloped and occupying all of the body of the perigynium, yellowish, puncticulate, sessile, contracted or tapering into and continuous with the slender, persistent, rather short, strongly bent style, at maturity bent downward against the achene ; stigmas 2, blackish, slender.
Type locality: "Hab. in paludosis borealibus Canadae, praesertim ad lacus Mistassins dictos." Distribution: Borders of lakes and streams and moist banks, calcareous districts, Labrador and Newfoundland, southward to Quebec and central Maine. Very variable in size. (Specimens examined from Labrador, Newfoundland, Quebec, including Anticosti, New Brunswick, Maine.)
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bibliographic citation
Kenneth Kent Mackenzie. 1935. (POALES); CYPERACEAE; CARICEAE. North American flora. vol 18(7). New York Botanical Garden, New York, NY
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Comprehensive Description

provided by North American Flora
Carex saxatilis L. Sp. PI. 976. 1753
Carex pulla Gooden. Trans. Linn. Soc. 3 : 78. pi. 14. 1797. ("Habitat in montibus Scoticis.")
Carex fusca Schkuhr, Riedgr. 64. pi. Cc,f. 88. 1801. (Type from Scandinavia.) Not C. fusca All.
Carex snilla Feldman, Bull. Soc. Nat. Mosc. 8: 285. 1835. (Type from Russia.)
Carex pulla a picea Drejer, Nat. Tidssk. 3: 474. 1841. (Type from Iceland.)
Carex pulla & fusca Drejer, Nat. Tidssk. 3: 474. 1841. (Type from Iceland.)
Carex vesicaria subsp. pulla Anderss. Cyp. Scand. 19. 1849. (Based on C. pulla Gooden.)
Carex pulla var. polystachya Blytt, Norges Fl. 212. 1861. (Type from Norway.)
Carex pulla var. laxa Trautv. Acta Hort. Petrop. 5 : 130. 1877. (Type from northern Siberia.)
Carex pulla f. pedunculata Kjellm. Vega-Exp. Vet. Iaktt. 1: 560. 1882. (Type from northern
Siberia.) Carex pulla var. sibirica Christ; Scheutz, Sv. Vet.-Akad. Handl. II. 22'°: 181. 1888. (Type from
northern Siberia.) Carex vesicaria subsp. saxatilis "L. " Kiikenth. in Engler, Pflanzenreich 4 20 : 728. 1909. (Based on
C. saxatilis L.) Carex vesicaria subsp. saxatilis f. polystachya "Blytt" Kiikenth. in Engler, Pflanzenreich 4 2 °: 728.
1909. (Based on C. pulla var. polystachya Blytt.) Carex vesicaria subsp. saxatilis f. laxa "Trautv." Kiikenth. in Engler, Pflanzenreich 4 2 °: 728. 1909.
(Based on C. pulla var. laxa Trautv.) Carex pulla f. debilis Porsild, Medd. Gronland 50: 370. 1912. (Type from Greenland.)
Culms arising one or few together from slender, horizontal, long-creeping rootstocks, 1-7 dm. high, stiff, erect, exceeding or exceeded by the leaves, aphyllopodic, triangular, from nearly smooth to strongly roughened above, brownish-tinged at base, the lower sheaths not filamentose, the dried-up leaves of the previous year conspicuous; leaves with well-developed blades 3-7 to a fertile culm, clustered on the lower third, somewhat septate-nodulose, the blades dullgreen, thickish, stiff, ascending or spreading, flat, or somewhat channeled at base, 0.5-3 dm. long, 2-4.5 mm. wide, attenuate, roughened towards the tip, the sheaths hyaline ventrally, prolonged upward beyond base of blade, the ligule very short; staminate spike solitary (or often with an additional sessile one at its base), peduncled, linear-subclavate, usually 1-2.5 cm. long, 2-3 mm. wide, the peduncle roughish, the scales oblong-obovate, obtusish or acutish, purplish-black or brownish-black with lighter midrib and narrow white-hyaline apex and upper margins; pistillate spikes 1 or 2, strongly separate or more rarely aggregated, the upper nearly sessile and erect, the lower shortto long-peduncled, sometimes nodding, typically shortoblong, varying from suborbicular to oblong-cylindric, 8-25 mm. long, 6-9 mm. wide, densely flowered, heavy, containing 15-50 ascending or ascending-spreading perigynia in several to many rows; lowest bract leaflet-like, shorter than or exceeding the inflorescence, not sheathing but often conspicuously dark-tinged at base ; upper bracts much reduced ; scales ovate or ovatelanceolate, obtuse to acute, purplishor brownish-black with lighter midrib and white-hyaline margins and apex, narrower than and from one half to nearly as long as the perigynia; perigynia ovoid, 3-4 mm. long, 1.75-2.25 mm. wide, suborbicular in cross-section, moderately inflated, membranaceous, smooth, shining, puncticulate, brownish or rarely straw-colored at maturity, nerveless or nearly so ventrally, obscurely few-nerved dorsally, rounded at base and substipitate, abruptly very short-beaked, the beak 0.5 mm. long, emarginate or shallowly bidentate; achenes lenticular, suborbicular, 1.75-2 mm. long, 1.5-1.75 mm. wide, nearly filling lower half of perigynium, nearly sessile, contracted into and continuous with the slender, persistent, more or less strongly bent style ; stigmas 2, slender, whitish, rather long.
Type locality: "Habitat in Europae alpibus."
Distribution: Greenland and Labrador; widely distributed in arctic Eurasia. (Specimens examined from Greenland, Labrador.)
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Kenneth Kent Mackenzie. 1935. (POALES); CYPERACEAE; CARICEAE. North American flora. vol 18(7). New York Botanical Garden, New York, NY
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Carex saxatilis

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Carex saxatilis is a species of sedge known by the common names rock sedge[1] and russet sedge.[2]

Distribution

It has a circumboreal distribution, occurring throughout the northern latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. It occurs in Alaska, throughout most all of Canada to Greenland and in Eurasia. In North America it occurs at high elevations as far south as Utah and Colorado.[3]

Description

This sedge is variable in appearance. In general, it forms a tuft of grasslike stems and leaves up to 80 or 90 centimeters tall. The inflorescence has staminate spikes above spikes of pistillate flowers.[3][4]

Ecology

This sedge is a dominant or codominant species in several types of wetlands among other sedges. In more southerly regions it occurs near streams and lakes. It may not compete successfully with other vegetation in southern regions, and it may be found growing in only the wettest habitat where other plants will not grow.[5] It grows in water or saturated substrates, but sometimes in drier sites like meadows. It may be associated with bluejoint reedgrass (Calamagrostis canadensis), tufted hairgrass (Deschamsia caespitosa), variableleaf pondweed (Potamogeton gramineus), subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa), lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii), and quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides).[3]

References

  1. ^ USDA Plants Profile
  2. ^ BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  3. ^ a b c Williams, Tara Y. 1990. Carex saxatilis. Archived September 9, 2011, at the Wayback Machine In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.
  4. ^ Carex saxatilis. Flora of North America.
  5. ^ Aiken, S.G., et al. 2007. Carex saxatilis. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

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Carex saxatilis: Brief Summary

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Carex saxatilis is a species of sedge known by the common names rock sedge and russet sedge.

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