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Carex laevivaginata (Kukenth.) Mackenzie

Smooth-sheathed Sedge

Habitat: Boggy or swampy woods and meadows. [Forested wetland; Open wetland, not coastal nor rivershore (non-forested, wetland)]

Range: Massachusetts to Michigan and Minnesota, south to northern Florida, Alabama, and Missouri.

Aids to Identification: Identification of species of the genus Carex is usually difficult and dependent upon rather technical features. C. laevivaginata is in the section Vulpinae which is characterized by having perigynia with broad, thickened base; compound flower clusters; and closely clustered stems. This species is distinguished by its sheaths which have a thick-margined, concave mouth, and do not extend beyond the base of the blade. The illustration shown here is that of the very similar and very common C. stipata, which differs by having sheaths with transverse wrinkles and which are not thickened at the mouth.

Ecological characteristics: Very little is known about the ecology of this sedge in Maine.

Phenology: Fruits May - July.

Family: Cyperaceae

Synonyms: None noted

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has historically been documented from a total of 2 town(s) in the following county(ies): Franklin, York.

Dates of documented observations are: 1953, 1954

Reason(s) for rarity: At northern limit of range.

Conservation considerations: Unknown; need current information on this species in Maine.