The Endemic Plants of Chile

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Carex transandina G.A. Wheeler

Place of Publication

Brittonia 38(4): 317 (1986)

Type citation

Chile, Prov. Magallanes, Isla Virtudes (E.), 51°31'S, 74°55'W, formacion detricola, 12 Feb 1976, T.B.P.A.-FIT. 779 (holotype: BAB!).


  • Wheeler (1986)

    Wheeler, G.A. 1986. Two new species of Carex (Cyperaceae) are described from southern South America (Cyperaceae) from austral South America and additional taxonomic and phytogeographical notes on the genus. Brittonia. 38(4):317-324

  • Wheeler (1989)

    Wheeler, G.A. 1989. The taxonomy of Carex sect. Aciculares (Cyperaceae) in South America. Systematic Botany 14(2):168-188


  • Wheeler (1989): fig. 2


Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena


Patagonian Steppe and Andean Subpolar Forests

Distribution and habitat

Carex transandina is known only from Magallanes Province where it occurs in the coastal range of Cordillera Sarmiento south of Cerro Balmaceda and on two offshore islands (Islas Virtudes and Rennell). This pioneer species grows in rock talus and scree at elevations from 350 to 600 m. Its diminutive size and caespitose habit make it well adapted to growing in harsh conditions (Wheeler 1986).


  • Wheeler (1989)


Perennial herb to 2.5 cm tall. Flowers in late November and December and fruits from late December through February (Wheeler, 1989)

Key characteristics

Carex transandina resembles C. minutissima by having three stigmas (vs. two) and achenes that are triangular in cross-section. It is also close to C. vallis-pulchrae but its habitat of rock talus and screes is very different to that of the latter which is always seen growing in boggy and swampy places (Wheeler, 1989)