Plants densely cespitose; rhizomes stout. Culms up to 12 cm, scabrous. Leaf blades V-shaped in cross section when young, (0.5-) 1.2-2 mm wide, papillose, scabrous. Inflorescences: proximal bracts usually with sheath 2.5-3 mm; lateral spikes usually 1-2 distal, 2-3 basal, 3-7 × 4 mm; terminal spike staminate or gynecandrous, 7-8 × 1.5-2 mm. Pistillate scales 3-5(-10)-veined, obovate, 3.5-4.2 × 1.3-2 mm, proximal ones longer than perigynia, apex subobtuse to acuminate and often mucronate. Staminate scales 5-veined or more, 4-5 × 1.5-2.1 mm. Perigynia 15-27-veined, most veins on faces 0.1 mm wide or wider, about as wide as marginal veins, obovoid, 3-4 × (1.1-)1.4-1.9(-2.1) mm, glabrous proximally, hispidulous distally; beak distinct, abruptly bent, 0.1-0.5 mm. Achenes sessile, with 2 faces convex, 2-2.4 × (1.1-)1.4-1.9 mm, apex retuse.
Fruiting late spring. Dry to dry-mesic mixed woodlands; of conservation concern; 700-1800 m; Ariz., N.Mex., Tex.
Carex lativena was previously included in C. planostachys. These taxa are essentially vicariant species; their ranges overlap in central Texas where apparent intermediates occur.
Carex lativena has been confused with 427. C. geophila (C. sect. Acrocystis), immature specimens of these species are difficult to distinguish.
Common Name: broadvein sedge Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Graminoid General: Densely tufted plants from stout rhizomes with scabrous stems to 12 cm. Vegetative: Blades v-shaped when young, 1.2-2 mm wide, papillose, scabrous. Inflorescence: Stacked spikes with lower bracts with sheath 2.5-3 mm long, lateral spikes with 1-2 above and 2-3 below, these 3-7 mm long by 4 mm wide, terminal spike staminate or gynecandrous, 7-8 mm long by 1.5-2 mm wide; pistillate scales obovate and 3-5 veined, 3.5-4.2 mm by 1.3-2 mm, lower ones longer than perigynia, with a subobtuse to acuminate and often mucronate apex, staminate scales 5-veined or more, 4-5 mm by 1.5-2 mm; perigynia with 15-27 minute veins, obovoid, 3-4 mm by 1.4-2 mm, glabrous below, hispidulous above, with a distinct, abruptly bent beak, 0.1-0.5 mm; sessile achenes with 2 convex faces, 2-2.4 mm by 1.4-2 mm. Ecology: Found in dry to moist mixed woodlands from 2,500-6,000 ft (762-1829 m); flowers April-June. Notes: This species is of conservation concern. It is easily confused with Carex geophila (see notes under C. geophila for distinguishing characteristics). The two species are impossible to distinguish without mature inflorescences. (Notes: Max Licher and Glenn Rink 2012) Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Carex is the classical Latin name for the genus, while lativena comes from lati- meaning broad, and vena for veins. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley, 2010