Carex arctogena H. Sm.

capitate sedge

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Found only on the high-elevation alpine slopes and plateaus of New Hampshire, capitate sedge is ranked as threatenend in New England.

Habitat

Alpine or subalpine zones, mountain summits and plateaus, talus and rocky slopes

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
New Hampshire
Lowest bract sheath
NA
Spike on stalk
NA
Top spike
the uppermost spike contains both staminate and carpellate flowers, with the carpellate flowers located below, or intermixed with, the staminate flowers
Perigynium hairs
the perigynium has no hairs
Perigynium length
2–4 mm
Leaf sheath color
the leaf sheath is tinted pink, red or purple
Leaf blade texture
the leaf blade is smooth and hairless, or rough and sandpapery
Perigynium beak teeth
  • the perigynium beak is divided at the top into two teeth
  • the perigynium beak is not divided at the tip into two teeth, or the teeth are very tiny
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Bumps on fruit
    there are no papillae on the perigynium surface
    Distance between perigynia
    0 mm
    Length of scale
    • the scale is nearly as long as, or longer than, the perigynium
    • the scale is shorter than the perigynium
    Lowest spike length
    6–15 mm
    Lowest spike stalk length
    0 mm
    Perigynium beak
    the perigynium has a beak
    Perigynium beak length
    0.3–1 mm
    Perigynium beak orientation
    the beak of the perigynium is straight, and in line with the perigynium
    Perigynium beak serrations
    • the perigynium beak has no serrations
    • the perigynium beak has tiny serrations along the edges
    Perigynium beak teeth
    • the perigynium beak is divided at the top into two teeth
    • the perigynium beak is not divided at the tip into two teeth, or the teeth are very tiny
    Perigynium beak teeth length
    At least 0 mm
    Perigynium color
    • brown
    • tan
    Perigynium cross-section
    the perigynium is planoconvex (flat on one surface and rounded on the other) in cross-section
    Perigynium hairs
    the perigynium has no hairs
    Perigynium length
    2–4 mm
    Perigynium nerve number
    At least 0
    Perigynium nerve texture
    • NA
    • the nerves on the perigynium are raised, even after drying the perigynium
    Perigynium nerves upper side
    0
    Perigynium orientation
    • the perigynia are angled outwards
    • the perigynia are oriented vertically or pressed against the axis or adjacent perigynia
    Perigynium puffy
    the perigynium is inflated (there is space between the perigynium and the achene)
    Perigynium shape
    the perigynium body is ovate (egg-shaped)
    Perigynium width
    1.5–1.8 mm
    Perigynium winged
    the perigynium has no wings
    Pollen- and seed-producing spikes
    some of the spikes produce perigynia
    Pollen-producing spike length
    0 mm
    Pollen-producing spike number
    0
    Pollen-producing spike peduncle length
    0 mm
    Pollen-producing spike width
    0 mm
    Scale awn
    The carpellate scale does not have an awn (it may have a short point)
    Scale awn texture
    NA
    Scale color
    white or translucent
    Scale tip
    the carpellate scale tip is obtuse (has a blunt point)
    Spike on stalk
    NA
    Spike orientation
    the spikes are oriented vertically or pressed against the axis
    Spikes per stem
    1
    Stigma branching
    the stigmas have two branches
    Top spike
    the uppermost spike contains both staminate and carpellate flowers, with the carpellate flowers located below, or intermixed with, the staminate flowers
  • Fruits or seeds
    Achene dimples
    the achene has no folds or dimples
    Style persistence
    the style falls off the mature achenes
  • Growth form
    Rhizomes
    there are no rhizomes, or the rhizomes are very short
  • Leaves
    Leaf arrangement
    the leaves are mostly produced higher up on the plant
    Leaf blade cross-section
    The leaf blade is folded lengthwise, with one prominent midvien
    Leaf blade texture
    the leaf blade is smooth and hairless, or rough and sandpapery
    Leaf bumps
    the upper surface of the leaf blade does not have papillae
    Leaf sheath bumps
    there are no papillae at the top edge of the leaf sheath
    Leaf sheath color
    the leaf sheath is tinted pink, red or purple
    Leaf sheath dots
    there are no dots on the leaf sheathes
    Leaf sheath folds
    there are no corrugations on the leaf sheath
    Leaf sheath texture
    the leaf sheath feels smooth, and has no hairs
    Lowest bract sheath
    NA
    Lowest leaf sheath texture
    the leaf sheath feels smooth (it may have soft hairs)
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    New Hampshire
    Specific habitat
    • alpine or subalpine zones
    • mountain summits and plateaus
    • talus or rocky slopes
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Plant height
    10–30 cm
    Relative stem height
    the main stem is taller than the leaves
    Spike internode length
    0 mm
    Stem cross-section
    the main stem is roughly triangular in cross-section
    Stem spacing
    the stems grow close together in compact clusters or tufts

Wetland Status

Occurs in wetlands or non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FAC)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
absent
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

New Hampshire
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Carex gynocrates:
basal sheaths not anthocyanic and carpellate scales acute to acuminate at the apex (vs. C. arctogena, with basal sheaths anthocyanic and carpellate scales obtuse at the apex).
Carex leptalea:
flowers with 3 stigmas, achenes trigonous, and perigynia beakless (vs. C. arctogena, with flowers with 2 stigmas, achenes lenticular, and perigynia with evident beaks).

Synonyms

  • Carex capitata L. ssp. arctogena (H. Sm.) Hiitonen
  • Carex capitata L. var. arctogena (H. Sm.) Hultén

Family

Cyperaceae

Genus

Carex

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

17.  Carex arctogena H. Sm. NC

capitate sedge. Carex capitata L. ssp. arctogena (H. Sm.) Hiitonen; C. capitata L. var. arctogena (H. Sm.) Hultén • NH. Alpine slopes and plateaus. See Reinhammer (2001) for justification of using the epithet arctogena at the rank of species.