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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Softleaf Sedge - Carex disperma

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 6

External Links

General Description
Rhizomatous. Stems erect, 10–50 cm, somewhat tufted. Leaves basal and lower-cauline; blades 1–3 mm wide. Inflorescence of 2 to 6 sessile, remote to overlapping spikes, bractless. Spikes 2–5 mm long, all similar; few male flowers above the female. Perigynia 1 to 3 per spike, spreading to ascending, green to tan, red-veined, glabrous, elliptic, 2–3 mm long with an obscure beak; stigmas 2. Female scales ovate, hyaline with a tan midvein, shorter and narrower than the perigynia. Achene 2-sided, filling the perigynium (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
Circumboreal south to CA, NM, IN and NJ (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 211

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Wet, organic soil, often beneath shrubs, in swamps, fens, wet coniferous forest; valleys, montane (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Williams, K.L. 2012. Classification of the grasslands, shrublands, woodlands, forests and alpine vegetation associations of the Custer National Forest portion of the Beartooth Mountains in southcentral Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 376 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Softleaf Sedge — Carex disperma.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from