E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Carex inops subsp. heliophila L.H. Bailey (Mack.) Crins
long-stoloned sedge (sun sedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Carex inops subsp. heliophila
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Species Information

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Perennial, tufted herb from slender, creeping, branched rhizomes; stems (10) 20-50 cm tall, clustered, usually longer than the leaves, reddish-brown tinged at the bases.
Sheaths tight, breaking into threads at the bases; blades flat, channeled towards the base, 5 to 10 per stem, the margins somewhat turned in, borne on the lower 1/3 of the stem, 1-3 mm wide, the lower ones slightly reduced.
Spikes 2 to 4, the terminal one 1-2.5 cm long, the stalks 0.8-10 mm long, with many male flowers, the lower spikes 1 to 3, with female flowers, unstalked to short-stalked, erect; bracts subtending the lowest spike leaflike, sheathless or short-sheathing, shorter than the inflorescence, the others short, inconspicuous.
Perigynia broadly egg-shaped to nearly globe-shaped, 2.5-4.5 mm long, 2-2.3 mm wide, dull green to straw-coloured, convex, finely short-hairy, with 2 prominent marginal nerves, the bases short-stalked, the beaks 0.5-1.5 mm long, bidentate; female scales egg-shaped, rounded to tapered, slightly longer to somewhat shorter than the perigynia, straw-coloured to brownish, with lighter midribs, with translucent margins; stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, with convex sides above, smooth, 1.8-2.5 mm long.
Two subspecies occur in BC :

1. Lower female spike elongate, short-stalked, its bract often short-sheathing; stalks of the male spike 4-10 mm long.................... ssp. inops

1. Lower female spike short, unstalked, its bract sheathless; stalks of the male spike 0.8-5 mm long.................... ssp. heliophila (Mack.) Crins

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry oak woodlands, meadows and rock outcrops in the lowland, montane and steppe zones; ssp. inops - infrequent in SW and SC BC; ssp. heliophila - infrequent in NE BC; ssp. inops - S to CA; ssp. heliophila - E to ON and S to IN, MO, OK, NM and UT.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Carex erxlebeniana L. Kelso
Carex heliophila Mack.
Carex pensylvanica subsp. heliophila (Mackenzie) W.A. Weber
Carex pensylvanica var. digyna Boeckeler

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References