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Carex brunnescens (Persoon) Poiret var. sphaerostachya (Tuckerman) Kükenthal. Section: [26m] Section 9 Glareosae. Brown Sedge. Phen: Jun-Jul. Hab: Grassy balds, bogs, spruce-fir forests, northern hardwood forests, moist rock outcrops, at moderate to high elevations. Dist: Var. sphaerostachya is eastern North American, ranging south to NJ, OH, MI, and MN, south to w. NC, e. TN, and n. GA.

Origin/Endemic status: Native

Taxonomy Comments: Maguilla et al. (2015) did not find support for the recognition of 2 or more infraspecific taxa in C. brunnescens, but neither did their results falsify that hypothesis; we here retain the recognition of var. sphaerostachya as a lower latitude taxon restricted to ne. North America (and southwards in the Appalachian Mountains) pending more detailed study.

Other Comments: The report of this species from SC (Gaddy 1981; Kartesz 2009) is erroneous (Gaddy 2014).

Synonymy: = F, NE, Va; = Carex brunnescens (Pers.) Poir. ssp. sphaerostachya (Tuck.) Kalela – FNA23, K1, K3, K4, Tn; < Carex brunnescens (Pers.) Poir. – C, G, GrPl, Il, NY, Pa, RAB, S, W, Mackenzie (1931-1935)

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: FACW (name change)
  • Great Plains: FAC (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Midwest: FACW (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Northcentral & Northeast: FACW (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)

Heliophily: 5

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image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷

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