Carex roanensis - F.J. Herm.
Roan Mountain Sedge
Other Common Names: Roan Mountain sedge
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Carex roanensis F.J. Herm. (TSN 39785)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.145979
Element Code: PMCYP03BL0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Sedge Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Cyperaceae Carex
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Carex roanensis
Taxonomic Comments: When this species was originally described, it was noted that further investigation could reveal it to instead be an extreme form or variety of either Carex virescens or Carex aestivalis. Morphological and genetic analyses, however, support the recognition of Carex roanensis as a species distinct from both of those taxa (Smith and Waterway 2008).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 15Sep2008
Global Status Last Changed: 18Sep2007
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Currently known from over 100 populations from Pennsylvania to Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina. On the other hand, population census data are not available in many places and most documented populations are small.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2N3

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Georgia (S1), Kentucky (S1), North Carolina (S2), Pennsylvania (S1), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (S2), Virginia (S2), West Virginia (S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Occurs at higher elevations in the Blue Ridge, Ridge and Valley, and Central Appalachian ecoregions, reaching its northern limit in the Western Allegheny Plateau region of southwestern Pennsylvania (Smith et al. 2006).

Area of Occupancy: 26-125 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 81 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: 45 populations have been confirmed from herbarium and field study; nearly all of these are believed extant (just one is ranked Historical).

Population Size Comments: With the exception of one area, population census data have not been collected (Smith et al. 2006).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Somewhat threatened by land-use conversion, habitat fragmentation, and forest management practices (Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project 2002).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Occurs at higher elevations in the Blue Ridge, Ridge and Valley, and Central Appalachian ecoregions, reaching its northern limit in the Western Allegheny Plateau region of southwestern Pennsylvania (Smith et al. 2006).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States GA, KY, NC, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
GA Rabun (13241)
KY Harlan (21095), Letcher (21133)
NC Ashe (37009), Avery (37011), Buncombe (37021), Haywood (37087), Madison (37115)*, McDowell (37111), Mitchell (37121), Transylvania (37175), Watauga (37189), Yancey (37199)
PA Fayette (42051), Potter (42105)*
TN Carter (47019), Johnson (47091), Polk (47139), Sullivan (47163), Unicoi (47171)
VA Augusta (51015), Floyd (51063), Grayson (51077), Greene (51079), Patrick (51141), Smyth (51173), Tazewell (51185), Washington (51191)*, Wise (51195)
WV Grant (54023), Hardy (54031), Pendleton (54071), Pocahontas (54075), Randolph (54083), Tucker (54093), Webster (54101)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 South Branch Potomac (02070001)+, South Fork Shenandoah (02070005)+, Maury (02080202)+, Rivanna (02080204)+
03 Upper Dan (03010103)+, Upper Catawba (03050101)+, Tugaloo (03060102)+
05 Upper Allegheny (05010001)+*, Tygart Valley (05020001)+, Cheat (05020004)+, Youghiogheny (05020006)+, Upper New (05050001)+, Greenbrier (05050003)+, Elk (05050007)+, North Fork Kentucky (05100201)+, Upper Cumberland (05130101)+
06 North Fork Holston (06010101)+*, South Fork Holston (06010102)+, Watauga (06010103)+, Upper French Broad (06010105)+, Pigeon (06010106)+, Nolichucky (06010108)+, Upper Clinch (06010205)+, Powell (06010206)+, Hiwassee (06020002)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A perennial sedge with reproductive stems about 40-90 cm high. Characterized by its cespitose habit, sheathing bracts, linear spikes, and hairy leaves and perigynia.
General Description: A perennial sedge about 4-5 dm tall, from short rootstocks. Culms 40-90 cm dm high, leaf blades 2.7-4.5 mm wide. Spikes 3-6, narrowly terete. Nutlets 1.8-2.1 mm long, 1-1.2 mm wide.
Technical Description: Culms pubescent on basal sheaths, 40-90 cm. Leaf ligules 1.3-7 mm; blades pilose 2.7-4.5 mm wide. Inflorescences 60-209 mm long; 3-6 narrowly terete spikes on arching to ascending peduncles; terminal spike 20-50 mm long, pistillate portion 7-32 x 2-3.8 mm, staminate portion 6-25 mm long; proximal spike with 2-7 perigynia along proximal cm, bract sheath 1-23 mm, peduncle 8-42 mm, 20-61 x 1.3-2.6 mm. Pistillate scales 1.6-2.4 mm, awnless or with a short awn up to 0.5 mm. Staminate scales 3.2-5.1 mm long. Anthers 2-3.3 mm. Perigynia pubescent, rarely some glabrous perigynia on depauperate specimens, 2.6-3.6 x 1-1.6 mm. Nutlets short stipitate, 1.8-2.1 x 1-1.2 mm.
Diagnostic Characteristics: From Smith and Waterway (2008): C. roanensis is most easily distinguished from C. aestivalis by its copiously hirsute perigynia; perigynia of C. aestivalis are glabrous. C. roanensis also produces flowers and fruits as much as two weeks earlier than C. aestivalis, which can be especially useful for distinguishing these two species in the field. Other characters which may help to distinguish C. roanensis include longer and narrower perigynia; larger, conspicuously stipitate fruits (fruit width is especially useful); and leaf width. Distinguished from Carex virescens by its longer perigynia ( > 2.7 mm vs. < 2.7 mm) and its lower perigynium density along the proximal cm of the proximal (lowest) spike (< 8 perigynia vs. > 6 perigynia). C. roanensis had previously been described as distinguishable from C. virescens based on its sheathing proximal inflorescence bracts; proximal inflorescence bracts of C. virescens were reported to be sheathless (this was believed to be the distinction between Carex section Hymenochlaenae [C. roanensis and C. aestivalis] and Carex section Porocystis [C. virescens]). However, recent morphological analysis by Smith and Waterway (2008) has found that this character is not reliably diagnostic.
Duration: PERENNIAL
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood, Forest/Woodland
Habitat Comments: Rich soils of mid- to high-elevation mesic forests in the southern Appalachians, including rich cove and northern hardwood forests. Most abundant on moderate to steep, rocky, wooded but generally more sparsely vegetated slopes. Often co-occurs with C. aestivalis and C. virescens. 775 - 1300 m (Smith et al. 2006, Smith and Waterway 2008).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 12Jan2007
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Maybury

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Chester, E.W., B.E. Wofford, R. Kral, H.R. DeSelm, and A.M. Evans. 1993. Atlas of Tennessee vascular plants: Vol. 1. Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, Angiosperms: Monocots. Austin Peay State Univ., Clarksville, Tennessee. 118 pp.

  • Churchill, J.A., and K. Wurdack. 1986. Carex roanensis rediscovered. Castanea 51(2): 149-151.

  • Hermann, F.J. 1947. A new species of Carex from Tennessee. Castanea 12(4): 113-115.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • 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.

  • Smith, T. W., J. T. Donaldson, T. F. Weiboldt, G. L. Kauffman, and M. J. Waterway. 2006. The geographic and ecological distribution of the Roan Mountain sedge, Carex roanensis (Cyperaceae). Castanea 71(1): 45-53.

  • Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project. 2002. A partnership between the U.S. Forest Service-Region 8, Natural Heritage Programs in the Southeast, NatureServe, and independent scientists to develop and review data on 1300+ regionally and locally rare species in the Southern Appalachian and Alabama region. Database (Access 97) provided to the U.S. Forest Service by NatureServe, Durham, North Carolina.

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