General: Perennial, loosely tufted herb from long, creeping rhizomes; stems 30-120 cm tall, arising singly or a few together, shorter than the leaves, wine-red at the bases.
Leaves: Sheaths tight, cross-wrinkled, yellowish- to brownish-tinged, the lowest ones breaking into threads; blades 2 to 5 per stem, flat at the bases, strongly in-rolled above, borne on the lower 3/4 of the stem, 1-2 mm wide, the lower ones reduced; ligules short, thick, as long as wide.
Flowers: Spikes 3 to 5, the terminal 2 (sometimes 1) linear, 1-2.5 cm long, long-stalked, with many male flowers, the lower 2 or 3 spikes cylindrical, with female flowers, unstalked to short-stalked, erect; bracts subtending the lowest spike leaflike, sheathless or short-sheathing, the lowest usually longer than the inflorescence.
Fruits: Perigynia egg-shaped to nearly globe-shaped, 2.8-4.5 mm long, 1.8-2 mm wide, dull brownish-green, somewhat inflated, densely soft-hairy, the numerous ribs obscured, the bases round, short-stalked, the beaks 0.8-1.2 mm long, deeply bidentate, the teeth 0.3-0.7 mm long; female scales lanceolate to narrowly egg-shaped, long-pointed or awned, more or less fringed, narrower and slightly longer to shorter than the perigynia, purplish-brown, with 3-nerved, green centres, with dull, narrow, translucent margins; stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, with concave sides and blunt angles, smooth, 1.5-2 mm long.
Notes: North American plants have been treated as ssp. americana (Hitchcock et al. 1969, Boivin 1992). Koyama (1962), Hermann (1970), Egorova (1999) and others consider our material to be identical to that in Eurasia.
Bogs, swamps, shorelines, marshes and fens in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent in S BC south of 56degreeN, rare northward, absent on N Vancouver Island, the Queen Charlotte Islands and adjacent mainland; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to MA, VA, OH, IN, IL, IA, NE, CO, UT, ID and CA; Eurasia.
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
2021-04-11 6:21:48 AM
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