Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

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S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris

Carex rufina Drejer

English: Snowbed sedge,

French: Carex des rochers,

Inuktitut: Iviit, ivisuka, ivitsuskaka.

Cyperaceae, Sedge family.

Published in Naturhist. Tidsskr. 3: 28. 1841.

Vegetative morphology. Plants perennial herbs. Only fibrous roots present. Leaves marcescent. Petioles absent. Sheaths present; sheath collars absent. Ligules present. Leaf blades simple. Leaves grass-like. Blades linear. Blades not lobed. Blade margins entire.

Reproductive morphology. Plants monoecious. Inflorescences spicate and a spike of spikes. Stamens present (staminate flowers), or absent (pistillate flowers); 3. Ovary carpels 3; syncarpous. Placentation basal. Ovules per ovary 1. Fruit surrounded by a perigynium. Fruit indehiscent.

Chromosome information. 2n = 86.

2n = 86. Jørgensen et al. (1958, Greenland); Löve (1970a, Iceland); Engelskjøn and Knaben (1971, southern and northern Norway); Löve (1981d, central Canada); Cayouette and Blondeau (1997, northern Canada).

The comparatively low-ploidy chromosome counts 2n = 60 of Levan, in Löve and Löve (1942, and Löve and Löve (1956, Iceland) is discounted, as they were not accepted by Löve and Löve (1975).

North American distribution. Continental Nunavut.

Northern hemisphere distribution. Amphi-Atlantic. Northern Iceland, Labrador – Hudson Bay, West Greenland, East Greenland.

General notes. This species forms rather dense, flat tussocks of soft, dark-green leaves, among which the culms are usually hidden. The top spike is bisexual, in contrast to a unisexual (male) spike that is found in this species close relatives e.g. C. bigelowii. The plants grow in wet stony places, often by the edge of ponds or on snow beds. Porsild (1957) considered this a rare species known only from a few stations in the Keewatin (continental Nunavut) but probably occurring in southern Baffin Island and Labrador. It is yet not known from the Arctic Archipelago (P. Ball, personal communication, 1997).

Illustrations. • Close-up of plant. Note the short stems, more or less hidden among the leaves, and the bisexual apical spike with male flowers at base. Norway, Nordland, Rana, Osterdalsisen glacier forefield. August, 1976. Photograph by R. Elven. Voucher at TRH.


This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.

Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.

Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

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