Carex speciosa

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Carex speciosa


Leaves subbasal, longer to much longer than the stems, stiff, flat (but margins revolute when dry), scabrous on the margins, asperous on the upper surface towards the long-attenuate apex, greyish or glaucous-green, 3-10 mm wide.


Asia-Temperate: China South-Central (Yunnan present), Asia-Tropical: East Himalaya (Sikkim present); India present; Jawa (Jawa present); Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia present); Sumatera (Sumatera present); Thailand (Thailand present), Atjeh present, Bertam present, Central Java present, E. Coast Res present, Gua Musang present, Kangean I present, N. of Bandjermasin present, Nepal present, S. China present, S. India present, SE. Borneo present, Ulu Kelantan present
Widely distributed in India (from Nepal to Sikkim, also in S. India), S. China (Yunnan), Thailand, Indo-China; in Malesia: Sumatra (Atjeh, E. Coast Res.), Malay Peninsula (Ulu Kelantan: Bertam, Gua Musang), SE. Borneo (N. of Bandjermasin, once), and Java (rare in W. and E., more common in Central Java), also in Kangean I.


According to Raymond, l.c., the leaves in C. speciosa are 1.5-2 mm wide, the number of spikelets 1-4, and the utricles 4-5 mm long. He kept C. courtallensis apart from C. speciosa on account of its broader leaves, the greater number of spikelets, and the larger utricles. The type- collection of C. speciosa (Wallich 3391) does not answer Raymond's description of this species. I agree with Nelmes that C. courtallensis is con- specific with C. speciosa', the specimens from Sumatra and Java agree very well with the type of C. courtallensis (Wight 991 in K).
The Bornean specimens are remarkable by the narrow leaves, the long, tail-like male part of the spikelets, and especially by the infundibuliform glumes of the male flowers (the last character not mentioned by Nelmes). I have not seen the Tonkin specimens Nelmes (1955) referred to C. speciosa var. angustifolia (Boott) Kuk. They have leaves only 1.5-2 mm wide, and utricles 3.5-4 mm long. It is not clear how Nelmes distinguished between this variety and his C. stenura.
Another member of sect. Radicates from Lower Burma was described as C. pterocaulos Nelmes in , according to Nelmes a very distinct species because of its widely winged stems, its sometimes empty bract, and the very stout female part of its spikelets. In some specimens collected in Thailand, Chiengmai, Doi Chiengdao, at 1200 m (Sleumer & Smitinand 1063, L), the stems are strikingly winged (4 mm broad) and the bracts very long and sometimes empty, but the glumes are only 3-3.5 mm long, the (young) utricles 4 mm (not 4-5 mm and 6-7 mm respectively); the female part of the spikelets is therefore not stouter than in C. speciosa. I doubt whether C. pterocaulos is specifically distinct from C. speciosa.
The polymorphism of the group is badly in need of special study.
The record of C. speciosa var. angustifolia for NE. New Guinea, based on Clemens 7909a () is very doubtful for plant-geographical reasons.
The filaments are often coherent to such a degree as to give the impression of their being connate.


Raym. 1959: p. 78. – In: Mem. Jard. Bot. Montreal: f. 19
Kunth 1965 – In: Dansk Bot. Ark.: 260
Raym. 1959 – In: Mem. Jard. Bot. Montreal: 80
Camus 1922 – In: Fl. Gen. I.-C.: 197
Nelmes 1951 – In: Reinwardtia: 390
Boott 1858 – In: Ill.: 53
Nelmes 1951 – In: Reinwardtia: 392
Boeck. 1876 – In: Linnaea: 388
Kunth 1954 – In: Reinwardtia: 381
Kuk. 1909 – In: Pfl. R. Heft: 481
Back. 1949 – In: Bekn. Fl. Java, (em. ed.): fam. 246, p. 63
Camus 1922: p. 197. – In: Fl. Gen. I.-C.: f. 28, 1-8
Kunth 1955 – In: Mem. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris n.s.: 160
Kern 1968 – In: Back. & Bakh.f., Fl. Java 3: 488, 492
Miq. 1856 – In: Fl. Ind. Bat.: 348
Clarke 1894 – In: Fl. Br. Ind.: 729