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 aurea Nutt. Gen. 2: 205. 1818.
Glabrous, light green, culms very slender, erect or reclining, 2'-15' long, from slender, elongated root-stocks. Leaves flat, 1"-2" wide, the basal equalling or exceeding the culm; bracts similar to the culm-leaves, the lower commonly much overtopping the spikes, sheathing, not dark-auricled; terminal spike short-stalked, staminate or slightly gynaecandrous; pistillate spikes 2-4, oblong or linear-oblong, erect and clustered near the summit or the lower one distant, filiform-stalked, loosely or somewhat compactly 4-20-flowered, 2"-10" long, about 1 1/2" thick; perigynia broadly obovoid or subglobose, white or nearly white when young, becoming fleshy and translucent, golden yellow or brown and about 1 ' in diameter when mature, many-nerved, beakless, the orifice entire; scales very variable, ovate, membranous, blunt, acute, cuspidate or short-awned, shorter than or the lower exceeding the perigynia; stigmas mostly 2.
In wet meadows, springs and on wet rocks, Newfoundland to British Columbia, south to Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Utah and California. Summer.
(II.) 24: 162. 1803. Carex livida Willd. Sp. PI. 4: 285. 1805.
Glabrous, very glaucous, phyllopodic, long-stolonif-erous, culms slender, strictly erect, smooth, 6'-1 1/2° tall. Leaves 1" wide or less, involute or folded, usually shorter than culm; bracts narrow, short-sheathing, usually short; staminate spike solitary, short-stalked; pistillate spikes 1-3, 5"-12" long, about 2 1/2" thick, erect, approximate, sessile or short-peduncled, oblong, densely 5-15-flowered or looser at the base, the third, when present, distant or sometimes nearly basal, stalked; perigynia oblong, very pale, nearly 2" long, less than 1" thick, faintly nerved, straight, beakless, narrowed to an entire orifice; scales ovate, obtuse or the lower subacute, rather shorter than the perigynia, the margins colored; stigmas 3.
In bogs, Labrador and Hudson Bay to Alaska, south to Connecticut, the pine barrens of New Jersey, central New York, Michigan and California. Also in Europe. Summer.
Carex panicea L. Sp. PI. 977. 1753.
Glabrous, pale bluish green and glaucous, phyllopodic, long-stoloniferous, culms slender, smooth, erect, stiff, 6-20 tall. Leaves flat, 1"-2" wide, the lower usually shorter than the culm; bracts short, long-sheathing;' staminate spike usually 1, its peduncle smooth; pistillate spikes 2 or 3, distant, stalked or the upper nearly sessile, erect, I or less long, 2 1/2"-3 1/2" thick, closely or at base loosely 8-25-flowered; perigynia oblong-obovoid, 1 1/2"-2" long and about 1" in diameter, slightly swollen and obscurely 3-angled, yellow, purple or mottled, faintly few-nerved, tipped with a very short entire somewhat oblique beak; scales ovate, acute, purple or purple-margined, shorter than the perigynia; stigmas 3.