Sheathed Sedge - Carex vaginata
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Rare in Montana, where it is currently known from one area in the northwest corner of the state, which is at the southern edge of the species' range. Additional data on population levels and trends are needed.
Long-rhizomatous. Stems erect, 10–40 cm. Leaves glabrous, basal and lower-cauline; blades 2–4 mm wide. Inflorescence of 3 to 4 well-separated spikes; the lowest bract shorter than the inflorescence, sheathing. Spikes unisexual; the uppermost male, narrow, 1–2 cm long; the lower female, ascending, pedunculate, 1–3 cm long, cylindric. Perigynia ascending, green to brown, narrowly elliptic, glabrous, 3–5 mm long with a beak 0.5–1.2 mm long; stigmas 3. Female scales with a green midstripe and hyaline margins, shorter than the perigynia. Achene 3-sided, nearly filling the perigynium (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)
Fruit mature in July.
Diagnostic characters of Carex vaginata include the rhizomatous habit, well-developed basal stem leaves, bracts with inflated sheaths, female flowers with 3 stigmas, and perigynia without hairs and with definite short beaks. A hand lens or microscope and technical key are needed for positive identification.
Circumboreal south to MT, WI and NY. Known only from Lincoln County (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).
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)
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Lesica, P., M. T. Lavin, and P. F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.