General: The term "indistinct beak" is causing confusion. It is applied when the perigynium tapers gradually to the beak so you can not point to one place where it starts. On p. 32, indistinct beaks would include those of perigynia C, F, I, and J. (In J, the beak obviously started a ways below that little narrow tip.) Therefore we suppose you could call the beaks of A, B, G, H, and K "distinct" but that's confusing. Perigynia C, F, and J distinctly have beaks, although their beaks are indistinct. No wonder people are confused. Next time around, we'll try to find clearer language.

Carex eburnea has been collected among limestone rubble on a river in Pend Oreille County, northeast Washington. Carex eburnea has very narrow leaves, usually less than 0.5 mm wide. Its trigonous perigynia have distinct though short beaks. The inflorescences are tricky to figure out. They obviously have short pistillate spikes, each spike atop a relatively long, ascending peduncle. The terminal spike is supposed to be staminate - but where is the terminal spike? Eventually one realizes that the little cone of hyaline bracts that appears to be near the base of the inflorescence is not an aborted spike but the staminate terminal spike! That spike is sessile, so the pistillate lateral spike surpass it. Carex eburnea is a species of upland forests with calcareous substrates and is sometimes found in sunnier, wetter habitats.

Carex eburnea pictures:

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Mackenzie (1940)
USDA Plants

p. 74: Carex abrupta most closely resembles C. microptera but differs because in C. abrupta the ventral surface of the perigynium has 3+ strong veins longer than the achene (i.e., running up onto the perigynium beak) and the perigynium body tapers gradually to the beak (it's "indistinct."). In Carex microptera, the ventral surface is veinless or faintly veined and the veins (if visible) generally don't run up onto the beak. Also, its perigynium has an oval body that changes to the beak at a definite inflection point. PNW Carex abrupta usually have dark brown perigynia, but the perigynia are often green in California.

p. 106, 206, and 238: We're beginning to get hints that there are habitat differences among the "identical triplets." Carex leptopoda is a plant of mesic or riparian forests, up off the stream itself (though often on the bank right above it). Carex bolanderi may be a plant of sunnier but wetter sites, actually in a seasonally wet ditch or the edge of a wetland. Also, it flowers and sets fruit later in the season. Observations on C. infirminervia are fewer but it may also like its feet in wet soil, e.g. in a forested seep. (fide Peter Zika).

p. 138: The name Carex constanceana should be changed to C. davyi Mackenzie. The two names apply to the same species and the name C. davyi was published earlier. Until now, C. davyi was considered a moderately rare plant endemic to California.

p. 152: Carex deweyana var. deweyana does not occur on the Olympic Peninsula. Most of the relevant specimens are C. leptopoda. A few are C. bolanderi. (fide Peter Zika)

p. 176: Some species other than Carex fracta may have the hyaline leaf sheath front extending upwards from the junction of leaf sheath and blade, forming a "contraligule." This has been observed in C. harfordii, C. multicostata, C. pachycarpa, and C. specifica often enough to be a problem. Of these, only C. pachycarpa occurs in Oregon and Washington, and its rounder head and distinctive perigynia clearly distinguish it from C. fracta. Carex fracta inflorescences are green and drab brown, lacking the rusty tones common in the other species. (See note about p. 268 for discussion of the name C. pachycarpa.)

p. 176: Carex fracta is the same species as Carex amplectens. Until recently, C. amplectens was considered a rare California endemic. However, the type specimen of C. amplectens (the specimen on which the name depends) turned out to be a set of late season shoots of the same plant we have long known as C. fracta. The name C. amplectens was published first, so usually it would replace C. fracta, but an appeal is being made to the International Committee on Botanical Nomenclature to conserve the name C. fracta. We will let you know how that turns out.

p. 186 - 187: Carex harfordii does not occur in Oregon or Washington. Plants reported from these two states are C. subbracteata; see Carex harfordii-subbracteata (March 4, 2009). The photos on page 187 are all from the Oregon specimen now known to be C. subbracteata. The longer inflorescences on the photographed specimen are though to be unusual for this species. The photos on p. 404 are also from an Oregon C. subbracteata specimen. Carex subbracteata has now been collected in the San Juans, northwest Washington. It resembles an unusually tall C. pachystachya, often with elongated inflorescence bracts and/or rather heavy ventral veins. The spikes of C. subbracteata are usually more wedge-shaped than those of C. pachystachya.

Details of the description on page 186 should be changed, but overall C. harfordii and C. subbracteata are much alike, distinguished mainly by perigynium texture (thin in C. harfordii, thick in C. subbracteata).

Click here for detailed comparison of the Carex harfordii in the Field Guide with C. subbracteata.

p. 251: The heading should read Carex macrocephala.

p. 252: Carex macrochaeta occurs in the Willapa Hills of southwest Washington. A specimen was collected there by Cathy Maxwell. Peter Zika examined the specimen and concurs with the identification.

p. 268: The name Carex pachycarpa Mackenzie should be applied to plants we call Carex multicostata in Washington, Oregon, and northern California (south to the Yosemite area). The name C. multicostata should be retained for high elevation plants called C. multicostata in California mountains from San Bernardino County north to Lassen Peak.

p. 273: Caption for bottom left picture. Change C. nebracensis to C. nebrascensis.

p. 286: Carex pachystachya has been collected from the North Warner Mountains in southern Lake County, Oregon.

p. 320: Carex raynoldsii has ghostly gray (rather than orange) perigynia in the North Warner Mountians in southern Lake County, Oregon.

p. 328: Superficially, Carex saxatilis looks like a member of section Phacocystis (e.g. C. scopulorum, C. lenticularis) but differs from all our Phacocystis because its perigynia are shiny. Phacocystis perigynia are dull. Some may have minute shiny speckles, but they are not smoothly shiny like those of C. saxatilis.

p. 352: Carex simulata has been found in the west Cascades in Douglas County, Oregon, and Skamamia County, Washington. Each of these populations consists of an extensive male clone in a bog. In California, both male and female clones have been found in bogs west of the Sierra Nevada.

p. 356: Identification Tips. Change Cares stipata to Carex stipata.

p. 362: It seems likely that the larger perigyna of Carex subfusca are about 3.5 mm long, and that the longer sizes reported (including the measurement in our Field Guide) come from misidentified specimens.

p. 362: Carex subfusca remains a mystery to us. High elevation plants to which this name applies (e.g. in Crater Lake National Park) have dark brown inflorescences with spreading pergyinia. Lower elevation populations (e.g. in southwest Oregon) have pale green inflorescences with appressed perigynia. Inflorescence color and whether perigynia are appressed or spreading vary greatly in California and we have not studied the issue sufficiently to determine whether these traits vary together. The type specimen for Carex subfusca is a high-elevation plant from the Tahoe region, where plants have dark inflorescences and spreading perigynia (fide Peter Zika).

p. 402. Carex mariposana has strongly veined, tapering ("indistinct") beaks like C. abrupta but its inflorescence is longer and the spikes overlap less. It is a more delicate plant that blooms later in the season than C. abrupta. The two sometimes grow in the same meadow in California. It is unlikely that C. mariposana occurs in Oregon.