Carex sect. Holarrhenae
in H. G. A. Engler and K. Prantl, Nat. Planzenfam. 15[II,2]: 124. 1888.
Plants not cespitose, long-rhizomatous. Culms brown at base. Leaves: basal sheaths not fibrous; sheath fronts herbacous, not differentiated from backs, distal leaves with sheath fronts green-veined; blades V-shaped in cross section when young, glabrous. Inflorescences racemose with 9–37 spikes; proximal bracts shortly leaflike, sheathless; spikes androgynous or unisexual, sessile, without prophylls. Proximal pistillate scales with apex obtuse to cuspidate. Perigynia erect, veined on both faces, sessile, broadly ovate, plano-convex, base rounded, margins sharply to narrowly winged, apex abruptly contracted to beak, glabrous; beak 0.4–1.9(–2.3) mm, with abaxial suture, margins often serrulate, apex slightly bidentate. Stigmas 2. Achenes biconvex, smaller than bodies of perigynia; style deciduous.
Temperate regions of Northern Hemisphere.
Species 2 (2 in the flora).
|1||Larger perigynia (2.5–)2.8–4.1(–4.6) mm; beak 0.4–1(–1.2) mm; pistillate scales usually pale brown to straw colored at maturity; basal spikes only slightly, if at all, more prominent than middle spikes, inflorescence nearly cylindric except near apex.||Carex sartwellii|
|1||Larger perigynia (3.8–)4–5.5(–6.1) mm; beak (0.8–)1–1.9(–2.3) mm; pistillate scales reddish brown at maturity; basal spikes usually substantially larger than those nearer middle, inflorescence at maturity usually conspicuously contracted towards middle.||Carex disticha|