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..
Rather bright green, culms very slender or filiform, erect or reclining, rough above, 1°-2 1/2° long. Leaves flat, soft, spreading, 1/2"-l 1/2" wide, shorter than the culm; lower bract filiform or bristle-like, $-4 long; spikes 2-8, androgynous, subglobose, 1 1/2"- 4" in diameter, 2-15-flowered, the 2 to 4 upper close together, the others distant; perigynia narrowly to broadly ovoid-lanceolate, flat, bright green, stellately diverging or sometimes ascending, somewhat spongy at base and with a slightly raised margin, nerveless or nearly so, shining, 1"-2" long, rather more than 1/2" wide, tapering or contracted into a stout, rough, 2-toothed beak about one-fourth the length of the body; scales ovate-oblong to ovate-orbicular, obtuse or acutish, persistent, white-hyaline, half as long as the perigynia; stigmas 2.
in Virginia. May-July.
Carex muricata L. Sp. PI. 974 (in part). 1753. Carex contigua Hoppe; Sturm, Deutschl. Fl. Heft 61. 1835.
Bright green, culms slender, erect, roughish above, 1°-2 1/2° tall, not wing-angled. Leaves 1 '-1 1/2" wide, shorter than the culm, not conspicuously septate-nodulose; sheaths tight, not transversely rugulose; bracts short; spikes 5-10, 4-10-flowered, all clustered into an oblong head 7 1/2"-20" long, or the lower 1 or 2 little distant; perigynia ovate or ovate-lanceolate, dull green, 2"-3" long, 1" wide, smooth, shining, nerveless, ascending when young, spreading when mature, tapering into a rough-edged 2-toothed beak as long as the body; scales ovate or ovate-oblong, green or brownish, usually reddish-purple tinged, acute, somewhat shorter than the perigynia; stigmas 2.
In meadows and fields, southern Maine to Ohio and Virginia. Locally naturalized from Europe. Called also Greater prickly sedge. June-Aug.
Carex echinata Murr. a closely related European species, but with an elongated interrupted head, has been found in Kent County, New Brunswick, as a waif.
Carex Muhlenbergii Schk.; Willd. Sp. PI. 4: 231. 1805. Carex Muhlenbergii var. enervis Boott, 111. 124. 1862.
Light green, culms slender but stiff and erect, sharply 3-angled, rough above, 1°-3° tall. Leaves 1"-2 1/2" wide usually shorter than the culm, somewhat involute in drying; bracts bristle-form, not conspicuously enlarged at base, usually short; spikes 4-10, androgynous, ovoid or subglobose, distinct, the lower separate, but close together in an oblong head ii"-i8" long; perigynia spreading, broadly ovate-oval, 1 1/2" long, 1" wide, from strongly nerved on both faces to nearly or quite nerveless, contracted into a 2-toothed beak nearly half length of body; scales hyaline with a green midvein, ovate-lanceolate, rough-cuspidate or short-awned, narrower than and about length of perigynia; stigmas 2.
In dry fields and on hills. Maine to Ontario and Minnesota, south to Florida and Texas. May-July.