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..
C. foenea var. ferruginea Gray, Man. Ed. 5, 580. 1867.
22: 149 (as synonym). 1889. C. suberecta Britton, Man. Ed. 2, 1057. 1905.
Culms erect, slender, acutely triangular and strongly roughened, 2°-3° high. Leaves 1"-1 1/2" wide, shorter than the culm; lower one or two bracts usually developed, but shorter than the head and inconspicuous; spikes 2-5, silvery greenish or slightly brownish-tinged, short-pointed or rounded, densely many-flowered, ovoid, 3 1/2-7" long, 2 1/2"-4" wide, approximate in a head 7" - 15" long, 4"-7" thick; perigynia erect, strictly appressed, ovate, strongly margined, rounded at base, 2"-2 1/2" long, slightly more than 1" to nearly 1 1/2" wide at base, distended over achene, tapering gradually into a rough 2-toothed beak 1/4-1/3 the length of the nerveless or obscurely nerved body; scales ovate, short-acuminate to obtusish, silvery-green, or in age ferruginous, shorter and rather narrower than the perigynia; stigmas 2.
Moist places, Ontario and Ohio to Michigan, Illinois and Iowa. May-July.
Carex alata Torr. Ann. Lye. N. Y. 3: 396. 1836.
Culms stiff, rather stout, strictly erect, slightly rough-ish above, 1°-3 1/20 tall. Leaves grass-like, but somewhat rigid, 1"-2" wide, shorter than the culm, sheaths green nearly to chartaceous auricle; spikes suborbicular to oblong-conic, whitish-green or in age brownish-green, very densely many-flowered, 5"-8" long, 3"-$" thick, the lateral rounded or little clavate at base, pointed or obtuse at the summit, all distinct but usually little separated, bractless, or short-bracted; perigynia orbicular or obovate-orbicular, very broadly winged, 2"-2 1/2" long, nearly 1 1/2" or more broad, firm, faintly few-nerved or almost nerveless on inner face, erect and appressed, or somewhat curved upward, the short, abrupt beak about one-third as long as the body: scales lanceolate, acuminate or aristate, scarcely shorter and much narrower than the perigynia; achene distinctly stipitate; stigmas 2.
In moist soil, New Hampshire to Florida, inland to Michigan. May-June.
Carex albolutescens Schwein. Ann. Lye. N. Y. 1: 66. 1824. Carex stramiiica var. foenea Torr. Ann. Lye. N. V. 3: 395.
Similar to the preceding species, but usually lower, culms 1°-2 1/2° tall, stout, strictly erect, slightly rough above. Leaves 1"-2" wide, shorter than the culm; bracts filiform or wanting; spikes 3-8, or sometimes more numerous and somewhat compound, oblong, silvery green when young but becoming light brownish, the lateral rounded or little clavate at base, 3"-6" long, mostly less than 3" thick, clustered, but distinct, the lowest sometimes separated, and very rarely stalked; perigynia broadly ovate, firm, broadly winged, faintly to strongly nerved on both faces, appressed, 11 /2"-2" (rarely 2 1/4") long, 1"-1 1/2" wide, the roughish beak about one-third as long as the body; scales lanceolate, obtuse or acutish, nearly as long as the perigynia, but much narrower; achene nearly or quite sessile; stigmas 2.
In wet soil, along coast, New Brunswick to Venezuela; also about the Great Lakes, on the Pacific coast, and at a few inland stations from Maine to New York. Bermuda. May-July.