Carex tonsa (Fernald) Bicknell

Locations ofCarex tonsa (Fernald) Bicknell in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Carex tonsa (Fernald) Bicknell
Common Name
Shaved Sedge
Carex tonsa (Fern.) Bickn. var. tonsa
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Carex tonsa (Fernald) Bicknell
See also Comments under map of Carex rugosperma, which has sometimes been treated as a var. of this species. Carex tonsa is the most frequent member of the Carex umbellata complex in Virginia and the most distinctive. Early leaves are often short, broad at the base and tapering for their length, thus awl-shaped. This, coupled with the very long-beaked perigynia with its glabrous body are a unique combination. At full maturity (when the plant is "shelling out"), the achenes are nearly black, almost round, and dimpled apically. Most older Virginia studies lumped Carex tonsa under a broad concept of C. umbellata. The map is based mostly on specimens in major Virginia herbaria determined by Wieboldt in 2013, and has been supplemented by additional collections made since; probably present in every county.
Dry forests, woodlands, and clearings, often in heavy, red clay soil, but also in a variety of other soil types. More or less frequent state-wide.
Native Status

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