Carex sect. Chlorostachyae

Tuckerman ex Meinshausen

Trudy Imp. S.-Peterburgsk. Bot. Sada 18: 283. 1901.

Synonyms: Carex sect. Capillares (Ascherson & Graebner) Rouy
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 23.

Plants cespitose, short-rhizomatous. Culms brown at base. Leaves: basal sheaths ± fibrous; sheath fronts membranous; blades V-shaped in cross section when young, or filiform or channeled, widest leaves 1–4 mm, glabrous. Inflorescences racemose, with 3–6 spikes; proximal nonbasal bracts leaflike, often short, long-sheathing, sheath more than 4 mm, longer than diameter of stem; lateral spikes pistillate, spreading or pendent, pedunculate, peduncles longer than spikes (spikes erect or on short peduncles in artic and high mountain plants), prophyllate; terminal spike staminate, gynecandrous, or androgynous. Proximal pistillate scales with apex obtuse to acute. Perigynia ascending, not speckled red-brown, veinless except for 2, strong, marginal veins or weakly 2–10-veined, stipitate, lanceolate to narrowly ovate, obtusely trigonous in cross section, base rounded, apex contracted or tapering to beak, glabrous; beak 0.3–1 mm, margins entire or serrulate, orifice entire or subentire. Stigmas 3. Achenes trigonous, almost as large as perigynia, glabrous; style deciduous.


Cool temperate, alpine, and arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere.


Species ca. 8 (3 in the flora).


1 Leaf blades not more than 1 mm wide, channeled; perigynia distinctly veined on faces; terminal spike androgynous or staminate. Carex williamsii
1 Leaf blades (0.75–)1–4 mm wide, flat or, rarely, folded; perygynia with marginal veins, otherwise veinless on faces; terminal spike staminate or gynecandrous. > 2
2 Terminal spike usually staminate; lateral spikes 2–4. Carex capillaris
2 Terminal spike usually gynecandrous; lateral spikes usually 4–10. Carex krausei