Carex alata Torr.
Family: Cyperaceae
Carex alata image
Nathanael Pilla  
Plants densely cespitose. Culms 30-140 cm. Leaves: sheaths adaxially conspicuously green-veined nearly to collar, narrow hyaline band or sharp Y-shaped region at collar, adaxially firm, sometimes papillose, summits U-shaped; distal ligules 2.8-8 mm; blades 3-7 per fertile culm, 11-50 cm × 2.5-6 mm. Inflorescences dense or open, pale green or brown, 2-6.5 cm × 7-20 mm; proximal internode 3-13 mm; 2d internode 4-10 mm; proximal bracts scalelike with bristle tips shorter than inflorescences. Spikes 3-11, distant, distinct, ellipsoid to ovoid, 6-20 × 4-9 mm, base rounded or short-acute, apex broadly acute to obtuse. Pistillate scales white-hyaline or tan, with green midstripe extending to tip, lanceolate, 2.8-3.5(-3.8) mm, shorter or longer and much narrower than perigynia, apex firm, acuminate or awned to 0.8 mm. Perigynia ± spreading, light or golden brown, faintly 3-8-veined on each face, obovate, flat except over achene, 4-5.5 × 2.5-3.8 mm, 0.4-0.5 mm thick, margin flat, including wing 0.8-1.5 mm wide; beak light brown at tip, flat, 0.85-2.2 mm, ciliate-serrulate, abaxial suture with light brown margin, distance from beak tip to achene 1.8-3 mm. Achenes oblong, 1.7-2 × 0.9-1.1 mm, 0.3-0.4 mm thick. 2n = 74. Fruiting late spring-mid summer. Peaty shores, marshes, wet thickets, woods; 0-400 m; Ont.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Ky., La., Md., Mass., Mich., Mo., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Infrequent in swamps and sandy swales in the lake area. It is seldom plentiful in any locality; frequently only one or two plants can be found at a station.

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Indiana Coefficient of Conservatism: C = 10

Wetland Indicator Status: OBL

Tufted, aphyllopodic, 3-10 dm; main lvs 2-4 mm wide, shorter than the stems, their sheaths ventrally green-veined almost to the summit, with only a short hyaline area; spikes 4-8, gynaecandrous, silvery-green or silvery-brown, subglobose to ovoid, 8-13 mm, obtuse at base with few staminate fls, sessile and closely aggregated in an erect cluster 2-4 cm; pistillate scales shorter than the perigynia, ovate or lance-ovate, nearly hyaline with a narrow green center, short-aristate; perigynia flat, 3.7-4.9 נ2.8-3.5 mm, 1.25-1.7 times as long as wide, several-nerved on both faces, broadest near or even above the middle, broadly rounded to the narrow beak less than half as long as the obovate body; achene lenticular, 1.5-2 נ1 mm. Wet soil, mostly near the coast, from Mass. to Fla. and Tex., also inland in N.Y., O., s. Ont., Mich., Ind., and Mo.

Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.

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