Carex albicans Willd. ex Spreng. - White-tinged Sedge


|  back  | forward |

Carex albicans - (image 1 of 6)



Family: Cyperaceae


Section Acrocystis     


Dry, acid (var. emmonsii) to calcareous (var. albicans) woods, clearings, ridges.




Nova Scotia to FL, west to southern Ontario, MI, WI, NE, and OK.


Tufted perennial; leaves 0.5-2.5 mm wide; terminal spike staminate, 4-14 mm long; pistillate spikes mostly 2-3, sessile, 2-7 mm, rather closely aggregated and overlapping; lowest bract usually shorter than the inflorescence; pistillate scales green or with a purple strip on each side of the broad green center, ovate or lance-ovate, acuminate or cuspidate, to as long as the perigynia; perigynia 4-12, dull green to yellowish-green, puberulent, 2-3.5 mm, slightly flattened, narrowly obovoid above a stipe-like base, 2-keeled, abruptly contracted to a slender beak 0.5-1.0 mm long; achene rounded-trigonous.


Fruiting late April to early June

Wetland indicator: UPL

The plants pictured here are var. albicans which has erect stems 20-50 cm long that evidently surpass the leaves, and blunt staminate scales with the midvein usually ending before the apex. The mainly coastal var. emmonsii has lax stems 5-20 cm long that are usually shorter than the leaves, and acute or acuminate staminate scales with the midvein extending to the tip or prolonged as a short cusp.

Carex nigromarginata is similar but usually with broader purple strip on the pistillate scales on each side of a relatively narrow green central vein; it also has shorter culms than C. albicans var. albicans (usually less than 20 cm), stem bases strongly fibrous, and staminate peduncles 0.3-0.8 mm (vs. 0.4-9.9 mm). 


Ball, P.W. and A.A. Reznicek. 2002. Carex, In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, Eds. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 23. Oxford University Press, New York.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY




Michael Hough 2018