Quick Key for Ovales

The following is a quick key to sedges in section Ovales.  All information is taken from Sedges (Carex) of Saskatchewan by Anna L. Leighton. Sedges in section Ovales have the following characteristics:

bullet More than two spikes per culm
bulletAll spikes in any one inflorescence are the same
bulletPlants cespitose, do NOT have stolons or long rhizomes
bulletSpikes gynecandrous (look for old filaments at base of spikes)
bulletLower 3 or 4 spike bracts NOT long, green, and leaf-like (i.e. NOT C. sychnocephala, see picture) 
bulletPerigynium winged (see image labeled "Perigynium" under C. microptera in colinherb.com). C. adusta is a bit of an exception, see description in book, has not been collected south of Saskatchewn River.

bulletIf lowest spike bract extends far beyond inflorescence, moist prairie or dried slough bottoms
bulletC. athrostachya
bullet If peryginia 6-8 mm long with long narrow beak, Cypress Hills only
bullet C. petasata
bulletIf peryginia very narrow, less than 1 mm wide
bullet C. crawfordii
bulletIf peryginia round with short, abrupt beak
bullet C. brevior
bullet If scales translucent with NON-green midrib, peryginia yellow at base
bullet C. xerantica
bulletIf scales same size and shape as mature perigynia and mostly concealing them
bullet If lowest spike bract as long as or several times longer than inflorescence,
sandy disturbed sites
bulletC. adusta
bulletIf flat, green, winged margins of perigynia petering out below teeth, style visibly protruding from beak
bulletC. praticola
bulletIf flat, green, winged margins of perigynia extends length of beak and up along teeth, style scarcely protruding from beak
bulletC. foenea
bulletIf scales (at least in middle and upper part of spike) distinctly shorter and/or narrower than mature perigynia
bulletIf spikes indistinguishable in a dense head that is truncate, widest at base, and about as wide as long
bulletC. microptera
bulletIf leaf sheaths lacking wings
bulletIf spikes separate to loosely overlapping at base of inflorescence
bulletC. tenera
bulletIf spikes densely overlapping at base of inflorescence
bulletC. bebbi
bulletIf leaf sheaths possessing wings
bulletIf spikes overlapping below to densely bunched above, perigynia ovate-elliptic, plant rare
bulletC. cristatella
bulletIf spikes arranged like beads on a necklace, perigynia lanceolate, plant very rare in Pasquia Hills
bulletC. projecta