Carex sect. Scitae


in H. G. A. Engler, Pflanzenr. 20[IV,38]: 410. 1910.

Treatment appears in FNA Volume 23.

Plants cespitose or not, short-rhizomatous. Culms red, purple, or brown at base. Leaves: basal sheaths fibrous; sheath fronts membranous; blades V-shaped in cross section when young, smooth or papillose. Inflorescences racemose with 2–5(–9) spikes; proximal bracts leaflike or filiform, sheathless; lateral spikes pistillate or, rarely, androgynous in C. microchaeta, pedunculate, prophyllate; terminal spike staminate. Proximal pistillate scales black or dark brown, not leaflike, less than 5 mm, apex acuminate or shortly awned. Perigynia erect or ascending, veinless or weakly veined on faces, with 2, strong, marginal veins, sessile, ovate, obovate, or nearly circular, compressed-trigonous or almost flattened in cross section, base rounded, apex beaked, smooth or papillose, glabrous; beak 0.3–0.5 mm, entire, emarginate, or bidentate. Stigmas 3. Achenes trigonous, filling 1/2 or less of perigynia bodies; style deciduous.


w North America, Asia (Russian Far East, Japan).


Species 11 (4 in the flora).


1 Perigynia broadly ovate or obovate to circular, smooth. Carex paysonis
1 Perigynia ovate or narrowly ovate, papillose. > 2
2 Leaves basal, proximal leaves with blades. Carex microchaeta
2 Leaves basal and cauline, proximal leaves reduced to sheaths. > 3
3 Lateral spikes pendent, long-pedunculate. Carex podocarpa
3 Lateral spikes: proximal one pendent and distal ones erect or spreading, short-pedunculate. Carex spectabilis