Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago
English: Norway sedge,
French: Carex de Norvège,
Inuktitut: Iviit, ivisuka, ivitsuskaka.
Cyperaceae, Sedge family.
Published in Fl. Scandinav. Prodr. 179. 1779.
Synonymy. Carex halleri Gunnerus, nom. ambig., Fl. Norveg. 2: 106. 1772.
Carex alpina Sw. ex Lilj., Sv. Fl., ed. 2, 26. 1798. non Schrank (1789), nec Honck. (1792).
Carex norvegica Retz. subsp. inserrulata Kalela, Ann. Bot. Sci. Zool.-Bot. Fenn. 'Vanamo' 19, 3: 25. 1944.
Vegetative morphology. Plants 5–15(–35) cm high; perennial herbs; caespitose (densely); in dense single compact tufts. Only fibrous roots present. Roots pallid-brown. Ground level or underground stems absent. Aerial stems erect (stiffly so); not filiform (0.6–1.3 mm in diameter). Leaves mainly basal; alternate; marcescent. Petioles absent. Sheaths present; breaking down into fibres (slowly); not forming a conspicuous build-up at the base of the plant; greyish brown, or brown, or reddish orange; sheath collars absent. Ligules present. Leaves grass-like. Blades 40–100(–150) mm long, 0.5–3 mm wide, straight, linear, flat or revolute or folded, veins parallel, not septate nodulose (but cell end walls sometimes prominent). Blade adaxial surface scabrous (scaberulous on midvein). Blade margins scabrous.
Reproductive morphology. Plants monoecious. Flowering stems triangular in cross section (sharply so). Flowering stems about as high as the leaves, or conspicuously taller than the leaves; with leaves. Leaf or reduced bract subtending the base of the inflorescence present; conspicuous and leaf-like, or reduced, or scale-like; exceeding the inflorescence, or similar in length to the inflorescence, or shorter than the apex of the inflorescence; 5–20 mm long; persistent; with sheath shorter than the blade. Inflorescences a spike of spikes (distant and distinct but terminal and lateral spikes overlapping); 0.4–1 cm long; 3–6 mm wide. Pedicels glabrous. Cladoprophylls present. Inflorescence multispicate. Inflorescence 2(–3) spikes (usually, in a close cluster, lateral spikes pistillate). Individual spike(s) erect, or ascending. Terminal spike staminate at the base (club-shaped; proximal spikes pistillate). Floral scales shorter than the perigynium in fruit, or as long as the perigynium in fruit; brown, or black (tending to be monochrome); with margins the same colour as the body of the scale (midvein dark, inconspicuous; margins hyaline); ovate; 1.8–2.3 mm long; 1.6–2 mm wide; glabrous; apex obtuse. Flowers unisexual. Staminate flowers inconspicuous. Perianth represented by a perigynium. Sepals modified (but not a pappus). Stamens present (staminate flowers), or absent (pistillate flowers); 3. Anthers 1.2–1.4 mm long. Ovary superior; carpels 3; syncarpous. Perigynia sessile. Styles 3; partially fused; slender, not extending beyond the beak, or slender, extending beyond the beak. Stigmas per ovary 3. Placentation basal. Ovules per ovary 1. Fruit surrounded by a perigynium. Perigynia fused to the apex except for a small aperture through which the style protrudes; broadly ovate, or elliptic; (2–)2.5–3 mm long; (1–)1.2–1.4(–1.5) mm wide; erect or ascending; green (when immature), or black (purplish), or brown; membranous; surface dull; glabrous; serrulate (distally), or papillose (on the beak); faintly veined, or appearing veinless; apices beaked with a short beak (0.2–0.3 mm long); apex oblique, becoming slightly bidentate. Fruit sessile; dry; an achene; indehiscent. Achenes trigonous; filling the perigynia. Seeds 1.
Chromosome information. 2n = 54 and 56.
2n = 54 and 56.
2n = 54. Zhukova and Petrovsky (1980, western Chukotka); Sørensen and Westergaard, in Löve and Löve (1948, Greenland?);
2n = 56. Heilborn (1922, 1924, Norway); Löve and Löve (1956, Iceland); Löve (1981d, northern Canada); Jørgensen et al. (1958, Greenland, 'inserrulata'); Zhukova (1969, northeastern Asia); Engelskjøn and Knaben (1971, northern Norway).
Deviating chromosome counts of 2n = 66 are reported by Tanaka (1942, 1948). These have not been included, as they may belong to a related species (Elven, personal communication, 2002).
Ecology and habitat. Substrates: wet meadows, along streams, tundra, slopes (and dry shelves); imperfectly drained moist areas, dry; rocks, gravel (always on Precambrian rocks, in dry tundra and on grassy slopes); with low organic content, with high organic content, peat; acidic (an indicator of acidic conditions, found on Precambrian acid rocks, Porsild (1957). By contrast C. norvegica subsp. inserrulata Kalela prefers calcareous sites. However, C. norvegica s.s. is calciphilous in its type region Norway and elsewhere in northern Europe (Elven, observation, 2005)). In wet meadows and along streams, it can be found with Carex membranacea, Luzula nivalis, and Carex capillaris. On drier slopes it is typically found with grasses or the lichen Cladonia.
North American distribution. Nunavut Islands, continental Nunavut, northern Quebec, Labrador. Range in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago limited. Uncommon. Low Arctic. Arctic islands: Baffin (southern), Southampton.
Northern hemisphere distribution. Amphi-Atlantic. Northern Iceland, Northern Fennoscandian, KaninPechora, Polar Ural Novaya Zemlya, Taimyr Severnaya Zemlya, YanaKolyma, West Chukotka, Central Canada, Labrador Hudson Bay, West Greenland, East Greenland.
General notes. Polunin (1940) noted that except in height this species varies little if at all within the eastern North American Arctic.
Elven et al. (2003) noted that there might be characters other than the margin of the utricles to justify recognising subsp. inserrulata, for example, the width of hyaline margin of bracts, and if so it might represent a distinct taxon (subspecies). The distribution pattern as presented by Hultén and Fries (1986) might support a separation of subspecies: (i) 'norvegica' in Europe and southeastern Greenland, (ii) 'inserrulata' in eastern and western Greenland and northeastern North America (the few scattered reports from northwestern North America should be very critically checked), and (iii) 'conicorostrata' extremely isolated in Chukotka.
Murray (2002) noted that C. norvegica is an amphi-Atlantic species. He treated C. norvegica subsp. inserrulata as synonymous in the Flora of North America treatment but noted that some differences can be seen between subsp. inserrulata in Greenland and subsp. norvegica in northern Europe, and further study is warranted.
Illustrations. • Habitat. An isolated plant is growing between the markers in dense Low Arctic tundra. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Ogac Lake. 11 July, 2004. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–063. CAN 586534. • Habitat. Plants between the markers growing with several other sedges on a damp hillside site. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Iqaluit. 6 July, 2004. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–012. CAN 586485. • Close-up of plant. Plant between the markers with multispicate inflorescence. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Ogac Lake. 11 July, 2004. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–063. CAN 586534. • Close of up inflorescence. Head-like multispicate inflorescence. The terminal and upper lateral spike are overlapping. Note staminate flowers at the base of the terminal spike, and green perigynia that are much larger than the brown monotone subtending floral scales. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Ogac Lake. 11 July, 2004. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–063. CAN 586534. • 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..