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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Alpine Nerved Sedge - Carex neurophora

Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S4
* (see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 7

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
MONTU contains over a dozen collections from 8 counties, several of the specimen labels note that the species was common (March 2007). Also observed from a riparian woodland on the Ashland District of the Custer National Forest in southeast Montana. The species is likely overlooked and suitable habitat appears to be common at least in the western half of the state.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Alpine Nerved Sedge (Carex neurophora) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date =
General Description
Caespitose. Stems erect, 30–60 cm. Leaves: basal bladeless; cauline blades 2–3 mm wide; upper sheaths cross-corrugate ventrally. Inflorescence of 5 to 10 sessile spikes, congested in an ovoid head; lowest bract inconspicuous. Spikes ca. 5 mm long, all similar, male flowers above, inconspicuous; female below. Perigynia spreading to ascending, lanceolate, convex, veiny, light brown, 2.5–4 × 1–1.5 mm; the beak, 1–1.5 mm long, serrulate below, entire above; stigmas 2. Female scales brown with a paler midvein, as wide but shorter than the perigynia. Achene 2-sided, filling the perigynium (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Fruit mature in July-August.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Many wetland sedges are similar to C. neurophora. Most have perigynia that are broadest near the middle (egg-shaped), while those of C. neurophora are broadest at the base. Carex jonesii and C. cusickii not have distinct crossribs on the upper leaf sheaths. Carex stipata has crossribs, but the perigynia are greater than 4 mm long. A hand lens and technical manual should be used for positive identification.

Species Range

Range Comments
WA and OR, east to MT, WY, and CO. Sparse.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 1

(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)

Typically occurs in moist montane meadows but also in moist thickets, drier habitats and alpine areas.

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Citation for data on this website:
Alpine Nerved Sedge — Carex neurophora.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from