Carex roanensis

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Carex roanensis
Carex roanensis.jpg
Conservation status

Imperiled (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Cyperaceae
Genus: Carex
Section: C. sect. Hymenochlaenae
Species: C. roanensis
Binomial name
Carex roanensis

Carex roanensis is a species of sedge known by the common name Roan Mountain sedge. It is native to the United States, where it can be found in the southern Appalachian Mountains.[1] It was first collected on Roan Mountain in Tennessee in 1936.[2] It was not collected again for fifty years.[3] Now it is known from Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.[1]

This plant forms small clumps of stems up to 85 centimeters tall. The stem bases and leaf sheaths are tinged maroon. The leaf blades are hairy. The inflorescence contains a terminal spike and two to three lateral spikes. There has been some question as to whether this plant is a true species, or perhaps a hybrid.[3][4] Genetic analysis confirms that it is a species in its own right.[5]

This plant grows in forests at moderate or higher elevations, sometimes in wooded areas but more often in the open.[1] It is associated with beech and birch species.[3] It may grow alongside the similar Carex species C. aestivalis and C. virescens.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Carex roanensis. The Nature Conservancy.
  2. ^ Churchill, J. A. and K. Wurdack. (1986). Carex roanensis redicovered. Castanea 51(2) 149-51.
  3. ^ a b c Carex roanensis. Center for Plant Conservation.
  4. ^ Carex roanensis. Flora of North America.
  5. ^ Smith, T. W. and M. J. Waterway. (2008). Evaluating the taxonomic status of the globally rare Carex roanensis and allied species using morphology and amplified fragment length polymorphisms. Systematic Botany 33(3):525-535.

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