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Published In: Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 37(5): 244. 1910. (Bull. Torrey Bot. Club) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/1/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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14. Carex abscondita Mack.

Pl. 32 e–h; Map 127

Plants with short- to long-creeping rhizomes, mostly forming loose tufts or clumps. Vegetative stems with the leaves somewhat wider than those of the flowering stems. Flowering stems 5–25 cm long, weak, erect to more commonly spreading, white to light brown at the base. Leaves longer than the stems. Leaf blades 10–30 cm long (except on bladeless, basal sheaths), 2–9 mm wide, thin, dark green to pale green, sometimes glaucous, the margins and veins minutely roughened or toothed, flat. Leaf sheaths with the tip deeply concave, the lowermost sheath bases white to light brown. Spikes 2–5 per stem, the bracts leaflike, mostly much longer than the inflorescence. Staminate spike 4–12 mm long, sessile or with a stalk less than 2 mm long, often hidden by the uppermost 1–2 bracts of the pistillate spikes. Pistillate spikes 6–12 mm long, 2.5–3.5 mm wide, often partially hidden by the bracts and leaves, the uppermost sessile or nearly so, ascending, the lowermost long-stalked, ascending to spreading, with 3–9 perigynia, the lowermost scales all with perigynia. Staminate scales 1–3 mm long, yellowish white to white, with a green midrib, rarely with reddish dots. Pistillate scales 1.5–2.0 mm long, obovate, the tip sharply pointed, yellowish white to white, with a green midrib. Perigynia 2.8–4.2 mm long, elliptic-obovate in outline, with a very short, straight or slightly bent beak at the tip. Fruits 2.6–3.8 mm long. May–June.

Known only from the Mississippi Lowlands Division in Dunklin and Ripley Counties (southeastern U.S. north to Missouri, Indiana, and Virginia; north locally along the Atlantic Coastal Plain to Massachusetts). Low, sandy rises in swamps and bottomland forests.

This species is easily overlooked in the field because the inflorescences are often hidden among the leaves. Because it can produce a well-developed rhizome system, it is sometimes found as relatively large colonies of loose tufts.



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