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Key to Carex, [26rr] Section 31 Lupulinae: section Lupulinae

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1 Sheath of uppermost leaf absent or <1.5 (-2.5) cm long; beak of perigynia 1.5-4.2 mm long; achenes with elliptic or obovate sides.
..2 Perigynia rhombic-ovoid, cuneate to the base, 8-35 per spike, radiating in all directions and therefore forming a globular spike
..2 Perigynia lanceoloid to ovoid, convex to the base, 1-12 (-20) per spike, ascending to spreading (the lowest sometimes slightly reflexed) and therefore forming an ovoid to obovoid spike.
....3 Perigynia 3-5 mm wide at the widest point; achenes broadest above the middle, with a pronounced shoulder rounding abruptly to the tip; style of mature achene with a half to full coil in its lower portion; [of high elevations in our area, generally in spruce-fir or northern hardwoods forests]
....3 Perigynia 5-8 mm wide at the widest point; achenes broadest at the middle, smoothly rounded to the tip; style of mature achene straight or arcuate; [widespread in our area]
1 Sheath of uppermost leaf usually >1.7 cm long; beak of perigynia 4.5-10 mm long; achenes with rhombic or nearly triangular sides.
......4 Achenes distinctly wider than long, widest above the middle; perigynia stiffly spreading at right angles to the rachis
......4 Achenes as wide as long or longer, widest near the middle; perigynia ascending.
........5 Angles of the achenes pointed, often even knobbed, with nipple-like points; achenes (2.2-) 2.4-3.4 mm wide, often nearly as wide as long
........5 Angles of the achenes smoothly curved, not pointed or knobbed; achenes 1.7-2.6 (-2.8) mm wide, distinctly longer than wide.
..........6 Staminate peduncle (3-) 6-18 cm long, usually exceeding the uppermost spike by 2-12 cm; plants loosely colonial by long slender rhizomes
..........6 Staminate peduncle 0.5-6 (-7) cm long, shorter than to exceeding the uppermost pistillate spike by < 2 cm; plants solitary or loosely cespitose in small clumps connected by stout, short rhizomes
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