Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago
English: Deer grass,
French: Trichophore cespiteux.
Cyperaceae, Sedge family.
Published in Handb. Skand. Fl., ed. 5, 259. 1849.
Synonymy. Scirpus cespitosus L., Sp. Pl. 48. 1753.
Baeothryon cespitosum (L.) A. Dietr., Sp. Pl. 2: 89. 1832.
Kreczetoviczia cespitosa (L.) Tzvelev, Bot. Zhurn. (Moscow and Leningrad) 84, 7: 12. 1999.
Scirpus cespitosus var. callosus Bigel., Fl. Bost. ed. 2: 21. 1824.
Vegetative morphology. Plants 7–15 cm high; perennial herbs; caespitose; in dense single compact tufts. Only fibrous roots present. Roots pallid-brown. Ground level or underground stems absent. Aerial stems erect; filiform (wiry, 0.4–0.6 mm in diameter). Leaves mainly basal; alternate; dying annually and non-persistent, or marcescent. Petioles absent. Sheaths present; persisting; forming a conspicuous build-up at the base of the plant (composed of sheaths and flat scales 2–3 mm wide); greyish brown; sheath collars absent. Ligules present; 0.1–0.2 mm long. Leaves grass-like. Blades 5–30 mm long, 0.2–1 mm wide. Leaves filiform. Blades straight, linear, flat (or slightly folded, bract-like, callous tipped, and easily overlooked), veins parallel. Blade adaxial surface glabrous. Blade abaxial surface glabrous. Blade margins glabrous; apices acuminate.
Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems two or more per plant. Flowering stems circular or oval in cross section. Flowering stems about as high as the leaves; without leaves. Leaf or reduced bract subtending the base of the inflorescence present; reduced, or scale-like; similar in length to the inflorescence; 3–6 mm long; persistent; with sheath shorter than the blade. Inflorescences spicate (a single spike); 0.3–0.6 cm long; 1.5–3 mm wide. Inflorescence unispicate. Individual spike(s) erect. Terminal spike with both sexes in each floret. Involucral bracts present (1). Floral scales orange-brown (often with empty scales between the reduced leaf and the florets); with margins paler than body of the scale; ovate; 2–4 mm long; 1.8–2.2 mm wide; glabrous. Perianth represented by bristles (the "cotton" of cotton grasses). Perianth bristles inconspicuous. Stamens 3. Anthers 2–2.5 mm long. Ovary carpels 3; syncarpous. Styles 3; free, or partially fused. Stigmas per ovary 3. Placentation basal. Ovules per ovary 1. Fruit sessile; surrounded by a perianth persisting as bristles (that are inconspicuous); dry; an achene; brown, or golden brown; 1.4–1.7 mm long; 0.6–0.9 mm wide; indehiscent. Achenes trigonous (compressed). Seeds 1.
Chromosome information. 2n = 100–104.
2n = 104. Löve and Löve (1956, Iceland); Löve (1981d, central Canada);
2n = about 100. Krogulevich (1976a, northern Siberia);
2n = about 104. Jørgensen et al. (1958, Greenland); Pojar (1973, western Canada, 2n = about 104); Zhukova and Petrovsky (1975, western Chukotka); Zhukova (1980, southern Chukotka; 1982, northeastern Asia); Yurtsev and Zhulova (1982, northern Siberia). Several more southern counts.
Ecology and habitat. Substrates: hummocks (peaty), along streams, tundra (in damp hollows), slopes (in springy or grassy places); imperfectly drained moist areas, seepage slopes; with high organic content, peat; acidic, or circum-neutral. In mucky, peaty sites; often on seepage slopes.
North American distribution. Alaska, Yukon, continental Northwest Territories, Nunavut Islands, continental Nunavut, northern Quebec, Labrador. Range in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago limited. Rare. Low Arctic. Arctic islands: Baffin (Beekman Peninsula (new since Porsild 1957), Cormack Bay and Kimmirut).
Northern hemisphere distribution. Circumpolar (slightly), or circumboreal. Northern Iceland, Northern Fennoscandian, KaninPechora, Polar Ural Novaya Zemlya, YamalGydan, West Chukotka, South Chukotka, East Chukotka, West Alaska, North Alaska Yukon, Central Canada, Labrador Hudson Bay, West Greenland, East Greenland.
General notes. Polunin (1940, p. 104) noted that all material in the Canadian Eastern Arctic "has the orifice of the upper sheath "short" and with a firm border, and the spikelets short and few-flowered, and so belongs not to the European lowland heath form (subsp. germanicum) but to the wide-ranging "arctic-alpine" [Scirpus caespitosus var. callosus] "(here Trichophorum cespitosum).
Illustrations. • Dominant plant in hummock and hollow ground. Dominant plant with grass-like leaves in a meadow with occasional white Eriophorum heads. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Ogac Lake. 11 July, 2004. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–062. CAN 586533. • Plants dominant in habitat. Plants growing between the markers and the dominant plant on the hillside. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Ogac Lake. 11 July, 2004. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–062. CAN 586533. • Close-up of plants. Densely cespitose plants less than 10 cm high, with a build-up of marcescent leaves and small unispicate inflorescences, growing between the markers. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Ogac Lake. 11 July, 2004. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–062. CAN 586533. • Habitat. Plant a distinct cespitose tuft consisting of wiry stems topped with small unispicate inflorescences and a fringe of dead leaves at the base. Manitoba, Churchill. Aiken and Brysting 01–004. CAN. • Close-up of plant. Tufted plants with wiry stems, each topped with a small unispicate inflorescence. Aiken and Brysting 01–004. CAN. • Close-up of plant in flower. Plants in flower with three white stigmas per flower exposed. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Soper River Valley. Aiken and Iles 02–048. CAN. • Close-up of spikes. Flowering spikes with three female flowers: one with three brown, previously receptive stigmas, one with three white receptive stigmas, and the the third with three immature stigmas. Aiken and Iles 02–048. CAN. • Arctic Island Distribution.
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..