Carex ultra Bailey (redirected from: Carex spissa var. ultra)
Family: Cyperaceae
[Carex spissa var. ultra (Bailey) K√ľkenth.]
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Martin and Hutchins 1980
Common Name: Cochise sedge Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Graminoid General: Stout erect stems arising from singly or in small clumps from stout creeping rhizome, stems to 2 m tall, basal sheaths reddish to brown and scaly. Vegetative: Leaves flat but channeled at the base with a double crease, 6-12 mm wide, serrulate along the margins. Inflorescence: Unisexual spikes, with linear staminate spikes reaching to 12 cm long, the pistillate spikes cylindroid to 15 cm long, lower spikes sometimes androgynous; basally subtended by leaflike bract that can exceed the inflorescence; pistillate scales scabrous awned, reddish brown to green or pale yellow in the center, perigynia with a minute beak less than 0.5 mm long; achenes three sided, blackish. Ecology: Found in moist soils that are sandy to gravelly, or in marshy sites from 5,000-6,000 ft (1524-1829 m); flowers Notes: This is the largest sedge in the southwest, reaching 2 meters in height, and has stiff coriaceous leaves with saw-like edges. Its inflorescence is usually also robust, with several long terminal staminate spikes and several long lateral pistillate spikes. See notes under Carex hystericina and C. thurberi for further separating features. It has ladder-fibrillose basal sheaths like Carex senta and C. endlichii, but those species have flattened perigynia that are just a little longer than wide, and two stigmas, while C. ultra has inflated perigynia that are more than twice as long as wide, and 3 stigmas. FNA subsumes this taxon into Carex spissa, of which it has also been considered a variety in some treatments. (Notes: Max Licher and Glenn Rink 2012) Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Carex is the classical Latin name for the genus, while ultra is Latin for beyond or in excess, probably a reference to its size. Synonyms: Carex spissa var. ultra Editor: SBuckley, 2010
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