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GoldenSedge fws3 (9071776972)

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Cladus: Commelinids
Ordo: Poales

Familia: Cyperaceae
Subfamilia: Cyperoideae
Tribus: Cariceae
Genus: Carex
Species: Carex lutea

Carex lutea LeBlond, Sida 16: 155 (1994).
Native distribution areas:
Primary references

LeBlond, R.J., Weakley, A.S., Reznicek, A.A. & Crins, W.J. 1994. Carex lutea (Cyperaceae), a rare new coastal plain endemic from North Carolina. Sida; Contributions to Botany 16: 153–161. BHL Reference page. : 155, fig. 1.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Carex lutea in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Jan 23. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2020. Carex lutea. Published online. Accessed: Jan 23 2020.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Carex lutea in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Jan 23. Reference page. 2020. Carex lutea. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Jan 23.

Vernacular names
English: sulphur sedge

Carex lutea is a rare species of sedge known by the common names golden sedge and sulphur sedge. It is endemic to North Carolina, where it is known only from Pender and Onslow Counties in the Cape Fear River watershed.[1] There are nine populations.[1][2] The plant was discovered in 1991 and described to science as a new species in 1994, and it has not been thoroughly studied nor completely surveyed yet.[1] Its rarity was obvious by 2002, however, when it was federally listed as an endangered species.[3]

This sedge was discovered in a very rare type of habitat made up of wet savannah on coquina limestone substrate.[4] It occurs on the edge of a swampy section of North Carolina's coastal plain, and the sandy, acidic soil is either wet or submerged.[4] This habitat experiences periodic wildfire every few years which clears brush, creating an open canopy.[4] This fire regime is apparently vital to the rare Carex and other plants that cannot grow if the woody brush grows up and outcompetes them.[1] Fire suppression efforts in the area threaten the plant and its ecosystem; some of the populations occur on private land that is not allowed to burn.[1] It generally does not grow in an area without periodic fires unless it is mowed to clear the brush or it is too wet for large woody vegetation to grow.[4] Other threats include logging and herbicide use.[1] Destruction of the habitat or alterations in its hydrology could damage populations.[4]

Despite its small numbers and habitat specificity, the sedge has a relatively high genetic diversity compared to similar, more widespread species.[5]

This plant is a perennial sedge forming clumps of narrow stems which may exceed 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) in height. The thin leaves are up to 28 centimeters (11 in) long. The staminate (male) inflorescence is a spike of flowers up to 4 cm (1.6 in) long, the spikelets clad in reddish brown or light brown scales. The pistillate (female) inflorescence is under 3 cm (1.2 in) long and has yellow-green flowers that yield beaked fruits.

USFWS. Carex lutea Five-year Review. December 18, 2009.
The Nature Conservancy
USFWS. Endangered status for Carex lutea (Golden Sedge). Federal Register January 23, 2002.
Center for Plant Conservation Archived December 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
Nathan J. Derieg, Akanita Sangaumphai & Leo P. Bruederle (2008). "Genetic diversity and endemism in North American Carex section Ceratocystis (Cyperaceae)". American Journal of Botany. 95 (10): 1287–1296. doi:10.3732/ajb.2007069. PMID 21632333.

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