Copper-scale Sedge - Carex chalciolepis
Carex heteroneura var. chalciolepis, Carex atrata var. chalciolepis
(see State Rank Reason below)
MNPS Threat Rank
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Based on the discrepancy in the number of herbarium specimens identified as Carex chalciolepis (CPNWH 2015) and in its Montana County distribution (Lesica 2012), there seems to be an issue in how to accurately identify this species. Specimens deposited in herbaria outside of Montana will need to be examined before its status in Montana can be determined.
Caespitose. Stems erect, 20–50 cm. Leaves basal and lower-cauline; blades 1–4 mm wide. Inflorescence of 2 to 6 short-pedunculate, erect spikes forming a loose cluster; lowest spike sometimes arching. Spikes 10–25 mm long, all similar; male flowers basal on uppermost spike otherwise all female. Perigynia erect, purplish to green, elliptic, 4–4.5 mm long, scabrous on the upper margin, filled by the achene; beaks 0.3–0.5 mm long; stigmas 3. Female scales narrowly lanceolate, blackish with thin, hyaline margins, as long or longer but much narrower than the perigynia. Achene 3-sided, much smaller than the perigynium (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)