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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Glaucus Beaked Sedge - Carex rostrata

Species of Concern

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S2S3
* (see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS: SENSITIVE
BLM:
MNPS Threat Rank: 3
C-value: 9

External Links






State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
This is a rare species in Montana, not to be confused with the more common Carex utriculata, which had been mistakenly treated under the name Carex rostrata in many past Floras.
 
General Description
Beaked Sedge is a perennial, grass-like plant with a single or several round stems, 5-12 dm tall, which arise from extensive, creeping rhizomes. The leaves are 1-4 mm wide and have dense, microscopic bumps on the upper surface and inrolled margins; they are covered with a whitish, waxy coating that rubs off. Flowers are clustered in cylindical spikes which are 2-10 cm long and arise on erect to spreading stalks from the axils of the upper leaves (bracts). The lowest bract leaf is as long or longer than the inflorescence. Male flowers are borne in 1-3 narrow spikes at the top, and 3-6 female spikes, ca. 1 cm thick, occur below. The glabrous, inflated, spreading, pale green to light brown, egg-shaped perigynium is 4-7 mm long and has a beak that is 1-2 mm long. The papery scales have needle-like tips and are about as long and broad as the perigynia that they subtend. There are 3 styles, and the achene is 3-sided.

Phenology
Fruiting in July-August.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Carex rostrata is very similar to the common species, Carex utriculata. Carex rostrata can be distinguished from Carex utriculata by its narrower leaves (2-4mm wide vs >4mm wide) which tend to be rolled versus flat or v-shaped in Carex utriculata and that are glaucous and bluish-green versus yellow-green.

Species Range
Present
 


Range Comments
Circumboreal, south to WA, ID, MT and WI (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 8

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

Recency

 

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



Habitat
Wet, organic soils of fens in the montane zone, including floating peat mats.

References
  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Britton, N. L. and A. B. Brown. 1913. An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada, and the British Possessions. 2nd Edition in 3 Volumes. New York, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons. B13BRI01PAUS.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Cronquist, A., A. H. Holmgren, N. H. Holmgren, J. L. Reveal, and P. K. Holmgren. 1977. Intermountain flora: Vascular Plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Volume 6: The Monocotyledons. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. 584 pp.
    • Gaudet, C. L. 1988. The relationship between plant competitive ability, morphology and field distribution; implications for conservation of rare species. Canadian Plant Conservation Programme Newsletter 3(1):18-19.
    • Lesica, P., M. T. Lavin, and P. F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Reznicek, A.A. 1997. The true Carex rostrata in the American Rockies. Sage Notes. A publication of the Idaho Native Plant Society 19(4):11-13.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Glaucus Beaked Sedge"
  • Additional Sources of Information Related to "Monocots"
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Citation for data on this website:
Glaucus Beaked Sedge — Carex rostrata.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from