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Silva Lusitana

versão impressa ISSN 0870-6352

Silva Lus. vol.22 no.1 Lisboa jun. 2014




Carex depauperata Curtis ex Stokes (Cyperaceae), a new species for Portugal


Jan Jansen1, Jacob Koopman2

1Institute for Water and Wetland Research, Experimental Plant Ecology, Radboud University Nijmegen P.O. Box 9100, 6500 GL Nijmegen, THE NETHERLANDS;

2 ul. Kochanowskiego 27, 73-200 Choszczno, POLAND;


1. Novarum Flora Lusitana Commentarii

In memoriam A.R. Pinto da Silva (1912 – 1992)



On 23 May 2012 the first author found a to him unknown Carex in Portugal, municipality of Guarda, village of Aldeia Viçosa. The locality is approximately 100 m south of the little chapel called Nossa Senhora do Carmo at an altitude of c. 500 m and c. 50 m away from an old pigeon-house. The co-ordinates of the site: UTM 29PTE 422 921. Det.: J. Jansen (RU, NL), W. Holverda (NHN, NL), Jac. Koopman (Choszczno, PL), J. Capelo (LISFA, PT). Several specimens were growing mostly in the shade of Laurus nobilis and quite near an already dried up brook.

Material is inserted in the National Herbarium Nederland (NHN), in the herbarium of the Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária (LISFA) and in the private herbarium of the second author.

Carex depauperata was found in an abandoned estate, at the fringe of a forest, growing with several specimens in or at the bank of a nearly dried out riverbed which was slightly altered to function as an irrigation channel. The tree layer indicates the presence of the Galician-Portuguese oakwood association Rusco aculeati-Quercetum roboris Br.-Bl., P. Silva & Rozeira 1955 em. Amigo, Izco, J. Guitián & Romero 1998, according to the presence of adult specimens of Quercus robur subsp. broteroana and a number of quite vital Laurus nobilis specimens. At close distance but under drier and more sunny conditions other oak tree species occur, mainly Cork oak (Quercus suber) and a few small Pyrenean oak trees (Quercus pyrenaica).



Carex depauperata Curtis ex Stokes belongs to the subgenus Carex, having a differentiated male spike at the top and a few female spikes lower in the inflorescence. The flowers bear three stigmas. It is placed in its own section Depauperatae Meinsh., indicating that it is not very closely related to other Carex species.



Carex depauperata occurs in most of the European countries and also in Central Asia. According to KOOPMAN (2011) it has been found within Europe in: Ireland, the United Kingdom, France (inclusive Corsica), Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Italy (inclusive Sicily), Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia. It became probably extinct in Belgium at the end of the 1970's.

At relatively short distance across the border with Spain, Carex depauperata has been collected in the provinces Salamanca, Avila and Cáceres, more than once growing under oak trees including Quercus pyrenaica, Q. faginea and Q. rotundifolia (FERNÁNDEZ DÍEZ, 1979; LADERO, 1974; LUCEÑO, 1987).

LUCEÑO (1994) does not mention Carex depauperata for Portugal, nor does LUCEÑO (2007). Obviously the species had never been found there, although it is rather easy to recognize, so not easily to be overlooked.



The specimens found in Portugal are rather tall and caespitose with long, more or less overhanging flowering stems which bear a few lax female spikes and at the top a male spike. The female spikes, with peduncles but not pendant, bear only a few flowers 2-8, hence the name C. depauperata. The utricles have a long, scabrid beak and the utricle body is prominently veined. The leaves, 2-4 mm wide, are shorter than the stems, which can reach 1 m height. The basal leaf sheaths are reddish-brown. It can hardly be mixed up with any other Carex.



AMIGO, J., IZCO, GUITIÁN, J., ROMERO, M.I., 1998. Reinterpretación del robledal termófilo galaico-portugués: Rusco aculeati-Quercetum roboris. Lazaroa 19: 85-98.         [ Links ]

FERNÁNDEZ DÍEZ, F.J., 1979. Flora vascular de la sierra de Tamames y Peña de Francia (Salamanca). IX. Trab. Dept. Bot. Salamanca VIII: 3-52.         [ Links ]

KOOPMAN, J., 2011. Carex Europaea, 2. Margraf Publishers, Weikersheim.         [ Links ]

LADERO, M., 1974. Aportaciones a la flora luso-extremadurense. Anales Inst. Bot. Cavanilles 31(1): 119-137.         [ Links ]

LUCEÑO, M., 1987. Notas caricológicas, II. Anales Jard. Bot. Madrid 44(2): 439-444.         [ Links ]

LUCEÑO, M., 1994. Monografia del genero Carex en la Peninsula Iberica e islas Baleares. Ruiza 14.         [ Links ]