This page provides a list of all Arkansas Carex sedges as of 2003. I need to reconcile it with the current list for 2007 from the Arkansas Flora Project as well as my own records. I updated it with a published list in 2004 in the journal Castanea . On March 9, 2003, I started detailed work on the Section Laxiflorae. With that beginning, I plan to treat each group of Carex sedges by the section to which they belong. Most info here comes from my draft manuscript on the genus in Arkansas; that document runs about 115 pages, and contains much info not available here. It will take considerable time to make it available on line. But it has to be done someday! If you want a copy of that manuscript, please email me.
Taxonomic problems have settled out within Carex, as I've worked on the genus in Arkansas since 1991. Yet, within the last two years (2001-2002), additional species new-to-science have been described which occur in Arkansas. Further work on southeastern Carex sedges is expected to turn up more "splinter" species. So far, as I've studied them, these new species seem to prove valid, based on differences in habitat, morphology, and the fact that even a non-university based botanist-specialist like myself can usually recognize them with ease.
I retired from federal employment in 2008 and expect I'll have more time this year to work on my entire website, so expect changes.
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Based on Hyatt (1998) and Smith (1994). Will be revised after further research. Starting with the Laxiflorae in March 2003, I plan to move details on each species into a separate page for each section. In the cases of small sections with few species, more than one section may be treated on a single page. My goal in 2003 was never carried out, so it still remains a goal.
Habitats and distributions added March 13, 2008 from memory.
Carex abscondita Mackenzie
...This sedge occurs much more frequently than collections indicate. Find it by looking along medium to larger sized streams along natural levees. It frequents nearby valleys also but is easily overlooked as the perigynia are hidden in the leaves.
Carex aggregata Mackenzie
Infrequent in Arkansas
Carex alata Torrey
Common but often overlooked.
Carex albicans Willdenow var. albicans
...Common in the Ozarks and Ouachitas, this sedge comes up early and frequents bluffs, rock outcrops, ridgetops, and slopes. Its told from most sedges by the fine hairs on the perigynia, which you can see with a hand lens. Its densely cespitose, but sometimes has short rhizomes less than a few centimeters long.
Carex albicans Willdenow var. australis (L. H. Bailey) Rettig
...This plant occurs more commonly in the south, but is reportedly "rare" throughout its range, the southeast United States. It ain't so! Its just infrequent because its infrequently collected, and blooms earlier than most sedges. Its similar to the var. albicans, but has long rhizomes, usually.
Carex albolutescens Schweinitz
Common, but late blooming. Blooms in late May and infrequently into fall or winter.
Carex albursina Sheldon of section Laxiflorae
Common in the Ozarks in deep valleys.
Carex amphibola Steudel
Carex annectens Bicknell var. annectens
Common in roadside ditches and wetlands.
Carex arkansana L. H. Bailey
Oddly rare despite its name.
Carex atlantica L. H. Bailey spp. atlantica
Carex atlantica L. H. Bailey spp. capillacea (L. H. Bailey) Reznicek
Carex austrina (Small) Mackenzie
Occasional on roadsides, often overlooked prior to 1991.
Carex basiantha Schkuhr
Common, floodplains of largest streams.
Carex bicknellii Britton
Known as the "Texas form" something's out there underCarex bicknellii Britton that's not that species exactly.
Carex opaca(F. J. Herm.) _____
Almost rare, infrequently encountered.
Carex blanda Dewey of section Laxiflorae
Carex brevior (Dewey) Mackenzie ex Lunell
When in doubt, its Carex brevior. Deal with it! Fairly common on roadsides.
Carex buffaloensis not a species
This Carex seems to be a shade form of Carex normalis.
Carex bromoides Schkuhr var. bromoides
Swamps, where it can be abundant.
Carex bulbostylis Mackenzie
Abundant in floodplains outside the mountain counties.
Carex bullata Schkuhr
I've never seen it in the wild!
Carex bushii Mackenzie
Common but local to glade and similar roadside habitats, mainly Ozarkian.
Carex careyana Torrey
Very locally abundant in deep Ozark valleys.
Carex caroliniana Schweinitz
Carex cephalophora Muhlenberg ex Willdenow
Common in woodlands; if your plant came from a sidewalk, tis Carex leavenworthii.
Carex cherokeensis Schweinitz
Common in the flatlands.
Carex communis L. H. Bailey
Locally abundant below cliffs on talus slopes in the Ozarks.
Carex comosa Boott
Infrequent but may be local in large numbers.
Carex complanata Torrey & Hooker
Very common in the southeast half of the state.
Carex conjuncta Boott
Carex corrugata Fernald
Very abundant in flatland floodplains.
Carex crawei Dewey
Locally common on glades.
Carex crebriflora Wiegand of section Laxiflorae.
Probably locally common in the flatlands, but based on my fieldwork in Louisiana, one has to look in the right places. Usually absent in roadsides. I'd look in the upper reaches of small ephemeral drainages. Seems to be absent in larger stream floodplains.
Carex crinata Lamarck
Carex crus-corvi Shuttleworth ex Kuntze
Abundant in the flatland floodplains.
Carex davisii Schweinitz & Torrey
Expect it in the Salem Plateau and in northwest Arkansas. Apparently absent without limestone and dolomite.
Carex debilis Michaux var. debilis
Abundant, but infrequent to rare in the mountains.
Carex debilis Michaux var. pubera Gray
Not on the current list and the variety sunk with the new Flora of North America treatment of the genus.
Carex decomposita Muhlenberg of section Heleoglochin
Very locally abundant in some swamps. Recent new discoveries with the Flora of Arkansas field efforts!!!
Carex digitalis Willdenow var. asymetrica Fernald
Carex digitalis Willdenow var. digitalis
Carex digitalis Willdenow var. macropoda Fernald
Carex eburnea Boott
Common, Ozark glades and blufflines on limestone.
Carex emoryi Dewey
I've never seen live in Arkansas.
Carex festucacea Schkuhr
Carex fissa Mackenzie var. fissa
Carex flaccosperma Dewey
Carex frankii Kunth
Common in the Ozarks. Gives way as Carex aureolensis to the south.
Carex gigantea Rudge
Very locally common in swamps.
Carex glaucescens Elliott
Carex glaucodea Tuckerman in Olney in A. Gray
Very common in old roads in Ozarks and elsewhere. Seems to like human footprints.
Carex gracilescens Steudel of section Laxiflorae
Perhaps not in Arkansas?
Carex gracillima Schweinitz
Carex granularis Muhlenberg
Common, Ozarkain roadsides on limestone.
Carex gravida L. H. Bailey
Carex grayi Carey
Common in flatland wetlands, but rarer south.
Carex grisea Wahlenberg
Common in some habitats.
Carex hirsutella Mackenzie
Abundant, Ozarks and elsewhere.
Carex hirtifolia Mackenzie
Rare and local in Ozarks. Easy to find in its habitat, but prefers limestone areas and very emphemeral streamlets and the upper edges of small stream floodplains. Very specific habitat, but I'd have to show you in the field as its hard to describe.
Carex hitchcockiana Dewey
Carex hyalina Boott
Common, flatlands; colonial.
Carex hyalinolepis Steudel (Shoreline Sedge)
[C. impressa (S. H. Wright) Mack.] OBL. Large sterile colonies of this plant often exist, but just as often the culms hide among the much longer leaves, protected from the would be collector by cottonmouth snakes and several inches of water, leaving the collector on the shore. In addition, large long rhizomes make hands in muck the fastest way of retriving a complete collection; in reality collectors easily collect rhizomes in wet weather by loosing the soil around them. Yanked culms come up rootless and rhizomeless. The name Shoreline Sedge fits this species well. This plant dominates a narrow strip along roadside ditches; natural habitats include wet woods and in prairies as indicated on Sundell 6226 at UAM: "dominated monotypic patches about 15-25 feet in diameter, in wet areas of Warren Prairie." To the inexperienced, the plant looks similar to Carex cherokeensis, which has much shorter, very stout rhizomes with many culms which form circular colonies in mesic but much drier sites than C. hyalinolepis. Once learned, these two taxa are almost unmistakeable with mature collections, especially with the rhizomes present in the collection. It is scattered in the southeastern half of Arkansas, but should be looked for in the Arkansas river valley and in unsearched counties within the existing range, while it is unexpected in the Ouachitas and Ozarks generally. "Ranges from Florida to Texas, north to New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nebraska" (Steyermark 1963).
Carex hystericina Muhlenberg ex Willdenow
Carex interior L. H. Bailey
Carex intumescens Rudge
Carex jamesii Schweinitz
Carex joorii L. H. Bailey
Carex kraliana Naczi & Bryson of section Laxiflorae
Carex laevivaginata (Kukenth) Mackenzie
Carex latebracteata Waterfall
Carex laxiculmis Schweinitz var. copulata (Bailey) Mackenzie
Carex laxiculmis Schweinitz var. laxiculmis
Carex laxiflora Lamarck of section Laxiflorae
Carex leavenworthii Dewey
Carex leptalea Wahlenberg var. harperi
Carex leptalea Wahlenberg var. leptalea
Carex longii Mackenzie
Carex louisianica L. H. Bailey
Carex lupuliformis Sartwell
Carex lupulina Muhlenberg
Carex lurida Wahlenberg
Carex meadii Dewey
Carex mesochorea Muhlenberg ex Willdenow
Carex microdonta Torrey & Hooker
Carex molesta Mackenzie
Carex molestiformis Reznicek & P. Rothrock
Carex muhlenbergii Willdenow var. enervis Boott
Carex muhlenbergii Willdenow var. muhlenbergii
Carex muskingumensis Schweinitz
Carex nigromarginata Schweinitz
Carex normalis Mackenzie
Carex oklahomensis Mackenzie
Carex oligocarpa Schkuhr
Carex ouachitana Kral, Manhart, & Bryson
Carex oxylepis Torrey & Hooker var. oxylepis
Carex oxylepis Torrey & Hooker var. pubescens Underwood
Carex ozarkana P. Rothrock & Reznicek
Carex pellita Willdenow (Wooly Sedge)
[Carex lanuginosa Michaux] OBL. Lawrence County provides the only known Arkansas location of this plant (Russell McNalty 321 STAR, ! peh, ! E. B. Smith, ! Barney Lipscomb; collected roadside 2 miles east of Walnut Ridge on Hwy. 25 in water on April 16, 1968). Demaree (1943) listed it for Arkansas, but no voucher of his report has been located yet. A Missouri site occurs in a large sedge and grass dominated area of a huge area of sinks a few miles from Arkansas. It could occur in north central Arkansas within similar habitat. The author continues to seek out areas with sinkhole ponds, to search for this and other species. Most sinks found to date tend to be dry holes rather than sunny wet ponds. "Ranges from Quebec to British Columbia south to Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California" (Steyermark 1963). The single Arkansas voucher has a 20 cm long rhizome with nodes less than 1 cm apart, rooting at the nodes with 8 cm long fibrous roots. Most leaves are missing, cut off about 3 cm tall, so leaf characters are lost. The 26 cm of culm contains raised nerves, and a 26 cm long bract below the spikelets, about 3-4 mm wide toward the base and a less than 5 mm long sheath. The ligule is not visible without tearing the voucher. The specimen has a terminal staminate spikelet, 2 subterminal (either immature or aborted) pistillate spikelets, and two lower, mature pistillate spikelets. The 3.5 cm long staminate spikelet has acute scales, with those at the tip and base having awns up to 0.3-0.4 mm long. Tinges of a red wine color remain in this spikelet. At its base is a 1.3 cm long pistillate spikelet, and 1.4 cm lower another 1.3 cm long aborted pistillate spikelet. About 5 cm lower on the culm is the mature pistillate spikelet and the second, about 6 cm below it. These are 2.6 and 3.7 cm long, respectively. The pistillate scales have scabrous awns 1.5-3.0 mm long, the base of the awn continuing centrally down the scale as a green nerve to 0.4 mm wide flanked by a thin, translucent wing, 0.5-0.7 mm wide and tinged brown (purple in life?) outer edge. A fine, rough hairness covers the perigynia. The glabrous 0.5-0.8 mm long divisions of the beaks of the perigynia sit atop the 0.8-1.0 mm long undivided portion of the beaks. The teardrop shaped perigynia run about 4 mm long, including the beak. I estimated 65 perigynia in a single spikelet. This collection contains a second immature culm of perhaps C. meadii or C. blanda.
Carex pensylvanica Lamarck
Carex planispicata Naczi
Carex planostachys Kunze
Carex prasina Wahlenberg
Carex radiata (Wahlenberg) Small
Carex reniformis (L. H. Bailey) Small
Carex retroflexa Willdenow
Carex rosea Schkuhr
Carex scoparia Schkuhr ex Willdenow
Carex seorsa Howe
Carex shortiana Dewey
Carex socialis Mohlenbrock & Schwegmann
Carex sparganioides Muhlenberg
Carex squarrosa Linnaeus
Carex striatula Michaux of section Laxiflorae
Carex styloflexa of section Laxiflorae
Carex stricta Lamarck
Carex suberecta (Olney) Britton
Carex swanii (Fernald) Mackenzie
Carex texensis L. H. Bailey
Carex torta Boott
Carex triangularis Boeckler
Carex tribuloides Wahlenberg
Carex typhina Michaux
Carex umbellata Schkuhr
Carex virescens Muhlenberg
Carex vulpinoidea Michaux
Carex willdenowii Willdenow var. willdenowii
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Hyatt, Philip E. 1999. Arkansas Carex (Cyperaceae): a preliminary list [or some such title]. Sida. Correct citation to be added later.
Smith, Edwin B. 1994. Keys to the Flora of Arkansas. The University of Arkansas Press. Fayetteville. 363 pages.
Yatskievych, George. 1999. [revised Missouri flora volume 1]