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Key to families | Table of families and genera
Indexes to all accepted names and synonyms:
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Annual, perennial herb, often rhizomed or stoloned, often of wet open places; roots fibrous; monoecious, dioecious, or flowers bisexual. Stem: generally 3-sided, generally solid. Leaf: generally 3-ranked; base sheathing, sheath generally closed, ligule generally 0; blade (0 or) linear, parallel-veined. Inflorescence: spikelets generally arranged in head-, spike-, raceme-, or panicle-like inflorescences; flower generally sessile in axil of flower bract, enclosed in a sac-like structure (perigynium) or generally not. Flower: unisexual or bisexual, small, generally wind-pollinated; perianth 0 or generally bristle like; stamens generally 3, anthers attached at base, 4 chambered; ovary superior, chamber 1, ovule 1, style 2–3-branched. Fruit: achene, 2–3 sided.
± 100 genera, 5000 species: especially temperate. [Gilmour et al. 2013 Kew Bull 68:85–105] Difficult; taxa differ in technical characters of inflorescence, fruit. In Carex and Kobresia, what appear to be individual pistillate flowers in fact are highly reduced inflorescences (whether or not the same applies to staminate flowers is still under debate). In some other works (e.g., FNANM) these are called spikelets, and they are treated as being arranged in spikes. Here and in TJM (1993), what appear to be individual pistillate flowers are called pistillate flowers in Carex (and they are treated as being arranged in spikelets), but spikelets in Kobresia (and they are treated as being arranged into spikes). Though internally inconsistent, the approach here is consistent with traditional usage, and reflects a preference for character states that may be determined in the field. Molecular, morphological, and embryological evidence indicates that Eriophorum crinigerum is to be segregated to a new genus, as Calliscirpus criniger (A. Gray) C.N. Gilmour et al., along with a second, newly described species, Calliscirpus brachythrix C.N. Gilmour et al. (Gilmour et al. 2013); key to genera modified by Peter W. Ball to include Calliscirpus. —Scientific Editors: S. Galen Smith, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Unabridged references: [Ball et al. 2002 FNANM 23:1–608; Bruhl 1995 Australian Syst Bot 8:125–305; Tucker 1987 J Arnold Arbor 68:361–445;]
Key to Cyperaceae
Perennial herb, cespitose to loosely cespitose to rhizomed with internodes > 1 cm; generally monoecious. Stem: generally sharp-3-angled, generally solid. Leaf: 3-ranked, generally glabrous except generally scabrous on midrib, margin; sheath closed, back (blade side of stem) green, ribbed, front (non-blade side of stem) generally thin, translucent, sometimes cross-wrinkled or flat, forming generally U-shaped mouth at top, sometimes extending above blade as a fragile sleeve-like "contraligule" (especially Groups 7, 11), sometimes disintegrating to a ladder- or lattice-like network or fringe of veins ("leaf sheath fronts fibrous"). Inflorescence: spikelets generally several to many, in spike, raceme, panicle, or head-like arrangement, each 1–many-flowered, generally unisexual, or bisexual, then staminate flowers distal to pistillate ("staminate/pistillate"), pistillate distal to staminate ("pistillate/staminate"), or otherwise, generally subtended by spikelet bract, lowest subtended by inflorescence bract, occasionally some additional pistillate spikelets on lateral shoots from basal nodes ("basal spikelets"); flowers subtended by flowering bract ("scale" in other literature, especially for pistillate). Flower: unisexual; perianth 0. Staminate flower: stamens generally 3. Pistillate flower: enclosed by sac-like structure (perigynium, abbreviated to "peri" here), occasionally next to bristle-like axis; style 1, stigmas 2–3(4), exserted. Fruit: 2–3(4)-sided, enclosed in peri, stalked or not, style base generally not persistent; peri body 2–3(4)-sided or round, often with marginal ribs, some with additional veins, papillate or not (determined at 20×), abruptly narrowed at base into stalk or not; peri beak abaxial flap (suture) prominent or generally inconspicuous or 0, tip open, often notched.Key to Carex
± 2000 species: worldwide; important components of peat, forage. (Latin: cutter, from sharp leaf, stem edges) [Wilson et al. 2007 J Bot Res Inst Texas 1:69–77; Zika et al. 1998 Madroño 45:261–270] Difficult because of many species, morphologic and genetic variation, minute key characters. Peri around fully mature fruit needed for identification (long-persistent peri often atypical). Many herbarium specimens have immature peri, which lead to misidentification. 2-styled plants with peri ± flat adaxially, curved abaxially are planoconvex; peri curved ± equally on both surfaces are biconvex. Peri walls said to be translucent are easily punctured and/or do not completely conceal fruit within. Peri beaks generally measured from point of inflection, where peri margin changes from convex to concave, to its tip, but in a few taxa it is measured from fruit top to beak tip ("measured from fruit top" for those taxa). Peri (and fruit) shapes including beak; peri (and fruit) "body" excludes beak. Mid to late season shoots often atypical in shape, color of inflorescence, bracts, peri. Number of peri given is per spikelet. Actual hybrids probably less frequent than reports of hybrids. Carex pityophila Mack, native to southern Rocky Mountains, reported from San Bernardino Mountains, but collections also suggest Carex globosa or may be distinct; study needed. In TJM (1993), Carex cephalophora Willd. misappl. to plants belonging instead to Carex mesochorea Mack. (Group 9), native to eastern United States, collected in South Coast (Los Angeles Co.) in 1929 and in Sacramento Valley (Butte Co.) in 2010. Carex molesta Mack. ex Bright (Groups 11A,G), native to eastern United States, an historical urban weed, Carex leavenworthii Dewey an urban weed.
Unabridged references: [Ball, P. W. and A.A. Reznicek. 2002. Carex, In: Flora of North America Editorial Comittee, Eds. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 23, Magnoliophyta: Commelinidae (in part): Cyperaceae. Oxford University Press, New York. pp. 254–572; Dean, E., F. Hrusa, G. Leppig, A. Sanders, and B. Ertter. 2008. Catalogue of nonnative vascular plants occuring spontaneously in California beyond those addressed in the Jepson Manual - part II. Madroño 55: 93–112; Goldman, D. 2008. Noteworthy collections, California. Carex longii. Madroño 55: 89–90; Hipp, A. L., A.A. Reznicek, P.E. Rothrock and J.A. Weber. 2006. Phylogeny and classification of Carex section Ovales (Cyperaceae). International Journal of Plant Sciences 167: 1029–1048; Hipp, A. L., P.E. Rothrock, A.A. Reznicek, and P.E. Berry. 2007. Chromosome number changes associated with speciation in sedges: A phylogenetic study in Carex section Ovales (Cyperaceae) using AFLP data. Aliso 23: 193–203; Hipp, A. L., P.E. Rothrock and E.H. Roalson. 2008. The evolution of chromosome arrangements in Carex (Cyperaceae). The Botanical Review 75: 96–109; Janeway, L. P. 1992. Cyperaceae of Butte County, California. Part 1: Carex. Studies from the herbarium (Number 9), California State University, Chico; Mackenzie, K. K. 1917. Notes on Carex–XI. Californian representatives of the Ovales. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 43: 601–620; Mackenzie, K. K. 1922. A monograph of the California species of the genus Carex. Erythea 8: 7–95; Murray, D. F. 1969. Taxonomy of Carex sect. Atratae (Cyperaceae) in the southern Rocky Mountains. Brittonia 21: 55–76; Naczi, R. F., C.T. Bryson, and T.S. Cochrane. 2002. Seven new species and one new combination in Carex (Cyperaceae) from North America. Novon 12: 508–532; Reznicek, A. A. 1993. Revision of Carex section Ovales (Cyperaceae) in Mexico. Contributions form the University of Michigan Herbarium 19: 97–136; Reznicek, A. A. and P.W. Ball. 1980. The taxonomy of Carex section Stellulatae in North America north of Mexico. Contributions from the University of Michigan Herbarium 14: 153–203; Rothrock, P. E., and A.A. Reznicek. 2001. The taxonomy of the Carex bicknellii group (Cyperaceae) and new species for central North America. Novon 11: 205–228; Standley, L. A. 1985. Systematics of the Acutae group of Carex (Cyperaceae) in the Pacific Northwest. Syst Bot Monographs 7: 1–106; Taylor, D. W., and J. Mastrogiuseppe. 1999. Carex tiogana (Cyperaceae), a new sedge from the Sierra Nevada, California. Novon 9: 120–123; Wilson, B. L., R.E. Brainerd, L.P. Janeway, K. Kuykendall, D. Lytjen, B. Newhouse, N. Otting, S. Meyers, and P. Zika. 2007. Description of Carex klamathensis (Cyperaceae), a rare sedge of the Klamath Region of Oregon and California, U.S.A.J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 1: 69–77; Wilson, B. L., R. Brainerd, D. Lytjen. B. Newhouse, and N. Otting. 2008. Field Guide to the Sedges of the Pacific Northwest. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, OR; Zika, P. F., K. Kuykendall, and B. Wilson. 1998. Carex serpenticola (Cyperaceae), a new species from the Klamath Mountains of Oregon and California. Madroño 45: 261–270; Zika, P. F. 2012. Carex orestera (Cyperaceae), a new sedge from the mountains of California. Novon 22: 118–124; Zika, P. F. and B. L. Wilson. 2012. Carex albida (Cyperaceae), and its relationship to Carex lemmonii. Madroño 59: 171–180.]
Unabridged note: Carex molesta Mack. ex Bright (Groups 11A,G), native to eastern United States, collected once from a parking space in South Coast (Santa Barbara Co.) in 1958, making it an historical urban weed.
Cespitose; flowering stems generally < leaves. Leaf: blade 2–5 mm wide; sheath front generally cross-wrinkled, minute-red-dotted or not. Inflorescence: dense, often ± interrupted, 5–10 cm, 1–1.5 cm wide; spikelets >> 10, > 1 per lower node or branch, often with several to many obvious thin spikelet bracts; pistillate flower bract dull yellow-green to pale gray-brown, base, margin white or not, awns often glabrous, lower generally 1–3 mm. Fruit: 1.2–1.6 mm, 0.8–1 mm wide; peri spreading, generally 2–3 mm, 1–2 mm wide, length <= 2 × width, often entire above, dull yellow-green to pale gray-brown, walls ± translucent, abaxial veins 0–3, adaxial 0, adaxial wall ± filled with pithy tissue in ± white U-shaped area around fruit, ± flat over fruit, beak 0.7–1.8 mm, teeth gold.
2n=52,54. Wet areas, marshes, shores, floodplains; < 1200 m. se Klamath Ranges, Cascade Range, n Sierra Nevada Foothills, Great Central Valley, Central Coast; eastern Oregon to British Columbia, Newfoundland, Florida, Mexico; alien in New Zealand, Europe. First collected outside cultivation in California in redwood grove in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco in 1958; first documented in northern Great Central Valley in 1982, now spreading. Much like Carex densa, but peri with fewer veins; scales and peri more gray-brown than yellow- or red-brown of Carex densa. Jun–Jul [Online Interchange]
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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Dec 21 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Carex, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=17943, accessed on Dec 21 2014
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