Cymophyllus fraserianus (Ker-Gawler) Kartesz & Gandhi

Locations ofCymophyllus fraserianus (Ker-Gawler) Kartesz & Gandhi in Virginia

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Detail

Family
Cyperaceae
Botanical Name
Cymophyllus fraserianus (Ker-Gawler) Kartesz & Gandhi
Common Name
Fraser's Sedge, Lily-leaf Sedge
Synonym(s)
Cymophyllus fraseri (Andrews) Mackenz.; Carex fraseriana Ker-Gawl.
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Carex fraseriana Ker-Gawler
Comments
A highly localized Southern Appalachian endemic.
We choose to recognize Cymophyllus as a genus distinct from Carex. When one compares the tremendous similarity across the genus Carex apart from Cymophyllus fraserianus, the latter stands out as strikingly different. Not the least of these differences are morphological characteristics unique among Cyperaceae, as well as a very unusual reproductive biology (see FNA, Vol. 23: 570). For those who would maintain Cymophyllus within Carex on grounds of monophyly, a review article in Taxon (2010) by Horandl & Stuessy provides a convincing argument why paraphyletic taxa should be recognized in some cases (and there are numerous reasons in this case to do so). We would also point out that additional molecular data (Bot. Rev. 75:138-159 (2009)) shows Cymophyllus in a clade along with Kobresia, Uncinia, a few Carex`species, and sister to Schoenoxiphium, suggesting it is at least as distinct as these other genera which look much more like Carex than does Cymophyllus. The ambiguity of molecular results suggests to us that more emphasis should be given to the apparently primal characters that so readily distinguish Cymophyllus.
Habitat
Acidic cove forests, often associated with Rhododendron maximum; rarely in rich cove forests. Infrequent, sw. mountains, north to the vicinity of the New River; an outlying population has been documented in Highland County.
Native Status
Native

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