This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Carex decomposita Muhl. Gram. 264. 1817.
Dark green, culms smooth and very obtusely angled or terete below, roughened above, rather stout, erect, 1 1/2°-3° tall. Leaves 2"-4" wide, rough, rather stiff, longer or shorter than the culm, equitant at the base; spikes brownish, staminate above, small and very numerous in a terminal decompound cluster 2'-6' long, the lower branches ascending and l'-2' long; bracts subulate or wanting; perigynia short-obovoid, 1"-1 1/4" long, somewhat shining, dark brown, thick and hard, strongly rounded and strongly nerved on outer surface, slightly rounded and faintly nerved on inner surface, very narrowly margined, tapering at base, very abruptly tipped with a very short slightly 2-toothed beak; scales ovate, scarious-margined, nearly equalling the perigynia; stigmas 2.
In swamps, New York to Ohio and Michigan, south to Florida and Louisiana. May-Aug.
Carex stipata Muhl.; Willd. Sp. PI. 4: 233. 1805.
Culms erect or nearly so, sharply 3-angled before drying, slightly winged and strongly serrulate above, 1°-3 1/2° tall. Leaves flat, 2"- 4" wide, usually shorter than the culm, the sheaths strongly transversely rugulose; bracts short, bristle-form or wanting; spikes numerous, androgynous, yellowish brown, crowded into a terminal oblong head 1'- 4' long, the lowest sometimes branched; perigynia lanceolate, strongly nerved, rounded and spongy at base, short-stipitate, 2"-2 1/2" long, about 1" wide at the base, gradually tapering into a rough flattened 2-toothed beak 1-2 times as long as the body, giving the clusters a peculiarly bristly aspect; scales ovate or lanceolate, thin, hyaline, acuminate, much shorter than the perigynia; stigmas 2.
C. laevivaginata (Kiiken.) Mackenzie, ranging from Maryland to North Carolina, differs in sheaths not transversely rugulose and thickened at the mouth.
Carex Crus-corvi Shuttlw.; Kunze, Riedg. Suppl. 128. pl.
1845. Carex Halei Dewey, Am. Journ. Sci. (II.) 2: 248. 1846.
Pale green, culms in clumps, stout, 3-angled, very rough above, erect, 2°-4° tall. Leaves flat, 2V-6" wide, rough-margined, usually shorter than the culm, the sheaths conspicuously reddish dotted; spikes yellowish brown, staminate above, very numerous in a large compound branching terminal cluster 4'-12' long, 1'-3' thick; perigynia elongated-lanceolate, stipitate, strongly nerved, 1 1/3"-4 1/2" long, strongly spongy and with a short hard disk-like base and a subulate rough 2-toothed beak 3 to 4 times as long as the body; scales ovate or lanceolate, thin, much shorter than perigynia; stigmas 2.
In swamps, Indiana to southern Minnesota and Nebraska, Florida, Louisiana and Texas. May-July.