Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 37: 246. 1910.
Illustrator: Susan A. Reznicek
Copyright: Flora of North America Association
Plants without conspicuous rhizomes. Culms 15–100 cm, 1.5–3 mm wide basally, 0.9–1.1 mm wide distally. Leaves: sheaths tight, green, fronts hyaline, yellow-brown and thickened at mouth; ligules to 3 mm, wider than long; blades 2.5–4 mm at widest. Inflorescences forming dense heads, with 4–8 spikes, 1–1.5 times as long as wide, 1–2 cm × 9–14 mm; proximal bracts not more than 2 cm; spikes with 8–20 ascending to spreading perigynia. Pistillate scales brownish to green-hyaline with green, 3-veined center, ovate, 2.3–3.1 × 1.2–2 mm, narrower than and as long as perigynia, apex cuspidate to short-awned. Anthers 1.1–1.7 mm. Perigynia pale green to pale brown, weakly veined or veinless abaxially, 3–4.1 × (1.7–)2–2.6 mm, margins serrulate distally; beak 0.8–1 mm, apical teeth 0.2–0.3 mm. Achenes suborbiculate, 1.5–1.7 × 1.3–1.5 mm.
Phenology: Fruiting late spring–early summer.
Habitat: Dry grasslands, roadsides, railroads
Elevation: 100–300 m
Ont., Ala., Calif., Conn., D.C., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kans., Ky., Md., Mass., Mich., Mo., Nebr., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va.
Carex mesochorea is naturalized in California and is probably not native at the northern and eastern limits of its range.