Bristly-stalk Sedge - Carex leptalea
(see State Rank Reason below)
MNPS Threat Rank
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Numerous collections at MONTU and MONT from 12 counties, including Lincoln, Flathead, Glacier, Missoula, Granite, Ravalli, Carbon, Stillwater, Lake, Powell, Teton and Lewis & Clark (October 2012). The species is most abundant in Flathead County and northwest Montana and apparently scattered elsewhere in the state.
Finely rhizomatous. Stems prostrate to ascending, 5–40 cm, tufted. Leaves basal and lower-cauline; blades <1 mm wide. Inflorescence a solitary bractless spike. Spike narrow, 4–7 mm long; male flowered portion above, 1–2 mm long; female flowers below, few. Perigynia narrowly elliptic, veiny, thick-stalked, 1.5–2.5 mm long, green, beakless; stigmas 3. Female scales green to tan, awn-tipped, shorter than the perigynia. Achene 3-sided, nearly filling the perigynium (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)
The only species in Section Polytrichoideae: Spike single, terminal, narrow, few-flowered, androgynous or all pistillate; stigmas 3, achene trigonous or round in cross-section, not filling the perigynium; rachilla absent; perigynium 5 mm or less, green, ascending, elliptic, beakless; lowest pistillate scales small, not foliaceous, mostly shorter than the perigynia; leaves numerous, slender, pale green. Fairly distinctive in overall appearance: pale green plant with very slender leaves, filiform stems, and small, single, terminal, androgynous spikes.
Labrador to Alaska, south to central Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, northeastern Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and California. Not reported from Kansas and Nebraska. Carex leptalea ssp. harperi is found in the southeastern portion of the range, and C. leptalea ssp. pacifica occurs in British Columbia and southernmost Alaska.
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Often calcareous fens, thickets, wet spruce or cedar forests, often on hummocks; valleys, montane (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Cronquist, A., A. H. Holmgren, N. H. Holmgren, J. L. Reveal, and P. K. Holmgren. 1977. Intermountain flora: Vascular Plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Volume 6: The Monocotyledons. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. 584 pp.
- Deam, C.M. 1940. Flora of Indiana. Division Forestry, Dept. Conservation, Indianapolis, Indiana. 1236 pp.
- Fernald, M.L. 1970. Gray's manual of botany. 8th ed. Van Nostrand Company, New York.
- Gleason, H. A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY. 910 pp.
- Godfrey, R.K., and J.W. Wooten. 1979. Aquatic and wetland plants of southeastern U.S. Monocotyledons. Univ. Georgia Press, Athens. 712 pp.
- Hulten, E. 1968. Flora of Alaska and Neighboring Territories. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA.
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
- Porsild, A.E., and W.J. Cody. 1980. Vascular plants of continental Northwest Territories, Canada. National Museum Natural Sciences, National Museums Canada, Ottawa. 667 pp.
- Radford, A.E., H.E. Ahles, and C.R. Bell. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Univ. North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 1183 pp.
- Ridley, H.N. 1930. The dispersal of plants throughout the world. L. Reeve & Co., Ltd., Ashford, Kent, United Kingdom. 744 pp.
- Steyermark, J. 1963. Flora of Missouri. University of Iowa Press, Ames.
- Strausbaugh, P.D., and E.L. Core. 1978. Flora of West Virginia. Seneca Books, Incorporated, Grantsville, West Virginia. 1079 pp.
- Voss, E. G. 1972. Michigan flora: A guide to the identification and occurrence of the native and naturalized seed-plants of the state. Part I. Gymnosperms and Monocots. Cranbrook Institute of Science. 488 pp.