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Key to Carex, [26aa] Section 18 Paniceae: section Paniceae

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1 Perigynia with a distinct beak, 1.0-2.2 mm long.
..2 Basal leaves with well-developed blades; basal sheaths brown; perigynia glabrous; [of moist, usually calcareous habitats of the Coastal Plain]
..2 Basal leaves reduced to bladeless sheaths; basal sheaths strongly purple; [of dry, acidic habitats of the Mountains]
1 Perigynia beakless, or with an indistinct beak < 0.5 mm long.
....3 Perigynia strongly ascending; leaves coriaceous, involute, glaucous; [s. NJ northwards]
....3 Perigynia ascending or spreading; leaves herbaceous, flat or folded, green or slightly glaucous; [collectively widespread].
......4 Basal sheaths with well-developed blades; basal sheaths brown to strongly purple.
........5 Pistillate spike 5-7 mm in diameter, with ca. 6 vertical rows of perigynia; perigynia 3.3-4.2 mm long, 2.0-2.5 mm wide; leaves 3-7 mm wide, blue green
........5 Pistillate spike 3-4 mm in diameter, with ca. 2-3 vertical rows of perigynia; perigynia 2.5-3.5 mm long, 1.5-2.0 mm wide; leaves 2-4.5 mm wide, pale green
......4 Basal sheaths bladeless, or with blades to 3 cm long; basal sheaths strongly purple.
..........6 Culms to 10 dm tall, (2-) 3-5 mm in diameter near base; larger leaves ca. 5 mm wide; plants forming large clumps; [plants of shallow soils on sloping rock outcrops]
..........6 Culms to 5 dm tall, ca. 1-2 mm in diameter near the base; larger leaves ca. 2-4 mm wide; plants forming small, spaced clumps, interconnected by long-creeping rhizomes; [plants of mountain slopes in more-or-less deep soils]
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