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Carex recta Boott

Salt-marsh Sedge

Habitat: Saltmarshes and coastal shores. [Tidal wetland (non-forested, wetland)]

Range: Labrador and Hudson Bay shores, south to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Maine, and Massachusetts.

Aids to Identification: Members of this genus can be difficult to identify without careful examination of microscopic features and knowledge of general groups of species. Carex recta is a member of the section Phacocystis, a group recognized by it’s beakless perigynia on peduncled (sometimes appearing sessile) spikes. C. recta has spikes that are erect and appear sessile. The perigynia are inconspicuously nerved (as opposed to conspicuously nerved in C. vacillans) with short pappilose hairs (opposed to dense pappilose on C. vacillans). The achenes are strongly invaginated.

Ecological characteristics: Little currently known about this species in Maine. Rarer than initially believed due to confusion with Carex vacillans. Many collections that were thought to be C. recta were instead C. vacillans. Restricted to coastal saltmarshes.

Phenology: Flowers July - August; fruits August.

Family: Cyperaceae

Synonyms: Former names include Carex limosa L. var. rariflora Wahlenb.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 3 town(s) in the following county(ies): Hancock, York.

Dates of documented observations are: 1954, 1957, 1993

Reason(s) for rarity: Near southern limit of range. Also listed as rare in Massachusetts, which is the only other location for this species in New England.

Conservation considerations: Prevent degradation of saltmarsh habitat from adjacent land uses.