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

Calamagrostis Adan

English: Reed-bent grass,

Inuktitut: Iviit, ivisuka, ivitsuskaka.

Poaceae, Grass family.

Published in Fam. Pl. 2: 31, 530. 1763.

Vegetative morphology. Plants 25–115 cm high; perennial herbs; caespitose. Only fibrous roots present. Ground level or underground stems horizontal; rhizomatous; elongate, or compact; 0.5–2.5 mm wide. Ground level or underground stems scales present; surfaces smooth, or striate; 3–30 mm long; glabrous. Aerial stems erect. Leaves mainly basal and distributed along the stems; alternate; marcescent. Petioles absent. Sheaths present; with the margins fused only in the lower part; glabrous, or with trichomes; sheath collars present. Ligules present; 2–12 mm long; membranous; hairy (abaxial surface); lanceolate. Ligule apices acute, or obtuse; entire, or erose, or lacerate. Leaves grass-like. Blades 50–300 mm long, 2–6 mm wide, appressed to the stem or spreading, rolled in bud, linear, with clasping auricles or without auricles, flat or involute, veins parallel. Blade adaxial surface scabrous or hairy. Blade abaxial surface scabrous.

Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems circular or oval in cross section. Flowering stems with leaves. Inflorescences paniculate; dense, or diffuse; linear, or lanceolate, or pyramidal; 5–23.5 cm long; 10–86 mm wide. Inflorescences main axis scabrous. Number of inflorescence branches at lowest node 2–4. Inflorescence primary branches 2.5–75 mm long; scabrous; with appressed secondary branches, or with spreading secondary branches. Spikelets disarticulating above the glumes; lanceolate; 2.8–5.2 mm long; 1.2–3.3 mm wide. Florets per spikelet 1. Two glumes present. First glume 0.85–1 × the length of the second glume; 0.8–1 × spikelet length; 2.8–4.5 mm long; lanceolate; with trichomes; margins glabrous; veins 1–2; apex acuminate, or acute. Second glume 0.4–0.9 × as long as the spikelet; almost as long as, or longer than, the lowest floret; 2.8–5.1 mm long. Second glume lanceolate. Second glume with trichomes; veins 1–3. Rachilla not pronounced between the florets; extending beyond the uppermost floret; internode 0.5–0.8 mm long; internode hairy. Callus differentiated; hairs 1.2–3.5 mm long; hairs shorter than the floret, or sub-equal to the floret. Lemma ovate, or lanceolate; 2.4–3.8 mm long; rounded on the back; surface dull; surface sparsely scabrous, or hairy; surface with trichomes on and between the veins; veins 3–5; apex acute, or rounded; apex erose, or lacerate, or bifid; apex glabrous; awned. Awn arising from below the apex but above the middle, or from the middle or below. Awn 2–8 mm long. Palea well developed; 1.5–4.1 mm long; veins glabrous, or scabrous. Flowers bilaterally symmetrical (zygomorphic). Perianth represented by lodicules. Stamens 3. Anthers 1.3–2.4 mm long. Ovary superior; carpels 3; syncarpous. Ovaries glabrous. Styles 2. Placentation basal. Ovules per ovary 1. Fruit sessile; dry; a caryopsis; 1.3–2 mm long; indehiscent. Seeds 1.

General notes. This genus has many agamospermic counts, and often there are no obvious allopolyploid origins indicated.

Porsild (1957) recognised 5 taxa in the genus (C. canadensis var. langsdorffii, C. chordorrhiza, C. lapponica var. neartica, C. neglecta, and C. purpurscens).

The taxon behind the name C. canadensis var. langsdorffii is here treated as a subspecies. Porsild (1957) mapped a single record for this taxon from Nunavut, Baffin Island, and Kimmirut. Specimens assigned to this taxon were collected in 2002 at Mt. Joy, about 65 km up the Soper River from Kimmirut.

After close examination of the specimen behind the record of C. lapponica var. nearctica from Iqaluit, it is assigned to C. canadensis subsp. langsdorffii.

One of the two specimens of C. chordorrhiza mapped from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago by Porsild (1957) and others collected near the type location Reindeer Station on the MacKenzie Delta were annotated by Greene as C. stricta s.l. in 1980. It is here treated as C. neglecta subsp. Neglecta, and since 1964 it has been collected on Banks and Melville Islands.

The name C. purpurascens has remained the same.


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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