Scorched Alpine Sedge
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Scorched Alpine Sedge
P Native Photo: Aniruddha Singhamahapatra
Common name: Scorched Alpine Sedge, Dark Alpine Sedge
Botanical name: Carex atrofusca    Family: Cyperaceae (Sedge family)
Synonyms: Carex ustulata, Trasus ustulatus, Proteocarpus atrofuscus

Scorched Alpine Sedge is a perennial, grasslike sedge, 10-25 cm. Stem is bluntly to sharply trigonous, papillose but smooth. Leaves are at most 1/4 of stem length; sheaths 10-15 mm, greyish green; ligule about 0.3 mm, arch high; blades 2-5 cm long 2.5-5 mm broad, flat, grey-green, both sides densely papillose, margins towards tip slightly scabrous. Inflorescence consists of 1 male and 2-4 female spikes. Bracts are up to 3 cm, narrow, with sheath up to 1.5 cm. Male spikes are 5-10 mm, ellipsoid, light- to dark-brown; male glumes about 3.5 mm, blunt with scarious margins. Female spikes are 7-15 x 4-7 mm, ovoid to ellipsoid, black-brown, all stalked, lowest flower-cluster-stalk up to 30 mm; female glumes about 3 x 1.5 mm, ovate, tapering, blackish brown, apical margin scarious; utricles 3-4 x 1.5-2 mm, wide ovoid or ellipsoid, flat, blackish brown, papillose, beak 0.2-0.5 mm, cylindrical, papillose, sometimes rough, bitoothed, ostiole margin scarious. Stigmas are 3. Nut is about 2 x 1 mm, ellipsoid, trigonous, yellow. Scorched Alpine Sedge is found in alpine meadows, in Arctic circum-polar, in mountains of Europe and Central Asia, and Himalayas, at altitudes of 3670-5250 m. Flowering: July-August.

Identification credit: Aniruddha Singhamahapatra Photographed in Hemkund Sahib , Chamoli, Uttarakhand.

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