Carex sect. Lamprochlaenae

(Drejer) L. H. Bailey

in J. M. Coulter, Man. Bot. Rocky Mt., 377. 1885.

Basionym: Lamprochlaenae Drejer Symb. Caricol., 10. 1844
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 23.

Plants densely or loosely cespitose, short to long rhizomatous. Culms red or purple at base. Leaves: basal sheaths fibrous or not; sheath fronts membranous; sheaths and larger leaves sometimes septate-nodulose; blades V-shaped in cross section when young, widest leaf blades 1–2 mm wide, glabrous. Inflorescences racemose, with 2–4(–5) spikes; bracts sheathless or short-sheathing, less than 4 mm, scalelike or with short threadlike blade; lateral spikes pistillate, subsessile to short-pedunculate, prophyllate; terminal spike staminate. Proximal pistillate scales white-hyaline or red-brown, apex obtuse to acuminate. Perigynia ascending to spreading, veinless or obscurely veined with 2 distinct marginal veins, ovate to obovate, rounded-trigonous in cross section, base tapering or rounded and shortly stipitate, apex to abrupt beak, glabrous; beak 0.3–0.9 mm, orifice entire or shortly bidentate. Stigmas 3. Achenes trigonous, almost as large as bodies of perigynia; styles deciduous.


North America, Eurasia, and nw Africa.


Species 12 (2 in the flora).

K. K. Mackenzie (1931–1935, parts 2–3, pp. 182, 221) did not recognize the section. He placed C. supina in sect. Obtusatae and C. glacialis in sect. Petraeae (sect. Rupestres). Other authors have not associated these species with unispicate species and, recently, sect. Lamprochlaenae has been recognized, although circumscription of the section has varied (V. I. Kreczetowicz 1935; A. O. Chater 1980; T. V. Egorova 1999). The circumscription followed here is that proposed by Egorova.

Selected References



1 Perigynia yellow-green to brown, 2.5–3.3 × 1.2–2 mm; staminate scales 3–4.5 mm, light brown; plants loosely cespitose, usually long-rhizomatous. Carex supina
1 Perigynia reddish black to dark brown distally, 1.5–2.5 × 0.9–1.2 mm; staminate scales 2–3 mm, reddish black or dark brown; plants densely cespitose, short-rhizomatous. Carex glacialis