This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
The habitat of this species is wet stony places on mountains. The plant has the sedge habit. The plant is stout, with a creeping rootstock, which may be tufted. The stems are rigid, 3-angled, curved, nearly smooth, rough above. The leaves are broad, rigid, flat, keeled, curving outwards, with bent-down edges, many, broad. The sheaths are not filamentous at the edge. The bracts are sheathing below. There is one barren cylindric spike with female florets below. The spikes are short, erect. The 3-5 fertile spikelets are oval or cylindrical, close, dense, with short stalks. The fruit is elliptical, blunt, not ribbed, green, with a smooth beak. The glumes are purple, dark, with narrow, pale edges, with a green midrib. The nut is broader than long, round, blunt. The plant is 4-10 in. high, flowering in May and June, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this rare sedge is calcareous cliffs. The habit is sedge-like. The stem is short, not longer than the radical leaves, which are blunt and flat. The bracts are membranous, egg-shaped, awned, shorter than the fertile spike. There are 3 fertile spikes, which are close, nearly erect, longer than the male spike. The fruit is pear-shaped, shorter than the glumes. The beak is short. The nut is elliptic, shortly stalked, nearly 3-angled. The plant is 3-5 in. high, flowering- from May to July, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this species is rocky Scottish mountains. The plant has the sedge habit. The stem is smooth, curved. The leaves are bent back, radical, green, keeled. The bract is long and has a funnel-shaped sheath (hence vaginata), loose. The fertile spikelets are loose, distant, on erect stalks. The fruit is 3-angled, swollen, bent down, smooth, longer than the glumes, which are blunt, pale-brown, egg-shaped. The nut is elliptic, 3-sided, beaked, the beak blunt, notched, bent down. The plant is 6-15 in. high, flowering in July, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this species is wet places on Scottish mountains. The plant has the sedge habit. The root is fibrous. The leaves are short and broad. The bracts are scarcely leaflike or sheathing. The fertile spikelets are 2-4, shortly stalked, egg-shaped, dense, nodding, brownish-black. The terminal spike is male. The glumes are egg-shaped, acute, dark-purple, with a slender, pale midrib. The fruit is elliptic, flattened at the border, rough-edged, with a cloven beak, dark-purple, paler below. The nut is brown, 3-angled, with a long beak, elliptic, triangular, on a long stalk. There are 3 (rarely 2) stigmas. The plant is 4-10 in. high, flowering in July and August, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is the Highlands and grassy mountain banks and rocks, near sea-level, in Sutherland. The plant has the sedge habit. The root is tufted. The stems are short, smooth, 3-angled, slender. The leaves (mainly radical) are soft, flat, bent back. The bracts are large, with a long sheath, the lower including several flower-stalks. The flowers are pale yellowish-green. The fertile spikelets are loose, drooping, few-flowered, shorter than the slender (hence capillaris) flower-stalk. The glumes are blunt, scattered, membranous, soon falling, with brown nerves. The fruit is short-stalked, 3-angled, with a long beak, bent down. The nut is elliptic to egg-shaped, 3-sided. The plant is 4-12 in. high, flowering in June and July, and is a herbaceous perennial.