Carex brunnescens (Persoon) Poiret var. sphaerostachya (Tuckerman) Kükenthal. Section: [26m] Section 9 Glareosae. 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)