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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Golden-fruit Sedge - Carex aurea

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4
C-value: 6

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Rhizomatous. Stems erect, 3–30 cm. Leaves basal and cauline; blades 1–4 mm wide. Inflorescence of 2 to 4 well-separated spikes; the lowest bract greater than the inflorescence. Spikes ascending or spreading; the uppermost male; the lower female, pedunculate, 5–20 mm long, narrowly cylindric. Perigynia spreading, white to green, becoming golden, obovoid, fleshy, papillose, 2–3 mm long, loosely aggregated; stigmas 2. Female scales ovate, sometimes awn-tipped, light brown with a pale midvein and hyaline margins, shorter but nearly as wide as the perigynia. Achene 2-sided, smaller than the perigynium (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Spikes (the lower and the upper) distinctly unalike, lateral spikes sessile or peduncled; if sessile then more or less elongate. Perigynia turgid, obovoid, elliptic in cross section. Mature perigynia membraneous, whitish-puberulent, pistillate scales blunt or rounded. Achenes lenticular to plano-convex, stigmas 2, spikes 2 or more.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
AK to NL south to CA, NM, TX, OH and NY (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 204

(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)

Moist meadows, turf, usually around streams, ponds, seeps, wetlands; plains, valleys to lower alpine (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Bissell, J.K. 1986. Survey of Valley Wall and Lake Bluff slumps in Erie County, Pennsylvania. Cleveland Museum of Natural History. U86bis01.
    • Bright, J. 1925-1930. The Genus Carex in Pennsylvania, Trillia 9:1-33. A25BRI01PAUS
    • Culver, D.R. 1994. Floristic analysis of the Centennial Region, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 199 pp.
    • Fernald, M. L. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. Eighth edition. A handbook of the flowering plants and ferns of the central and northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. American Book Co., New York.
    • Gleason, H.A. 1952. New Britton & Brown. Illustrated Flora. Lancaster Press Inc. Lancaster, Pa. B52GLE01PAUS
    • Jones, W. W. 1901. Preliminary flora of Gallatin County. M.S. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State College. 78 pp.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
    • Mackenzie, K.K. 1935. Cyperacea. North American Flora. A35MAC01PAUS.
    • Mackenzie, K.K. 1940. North American Cariceae; in Rickett, H. W. (ed.) ???. The New York Botanical Garden. New York, NY. Lancaster Press, Lancaster, PA. pp. B40MAC01PAUS.
    • McCance, R.M., Jr., and J.F. Burns, eds. 1984. Ohio endangered and threatened vascular plants: Abstracts of state-listed taxa. Division Natural Areas and Preserves, Ohio Dept. Natural Resources, Columbus. 635 pp.
    • Miller, J. 1923. Flora of Erie County Pennsylvania. Erie Women's Club Erie, Pa. B23MIL01PAUS.
    • Nuttal, Thomas. 1818. The Genera of North American Plants: and a catalogue of the species, to the year 1817. Printed by D. Heartt, Philadelphia. 2 volumes. B18NUT01PAUS.
    • Voss, E.G. 1972. Michigan Flora Part I. Kingsport Press, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. B72VOS01PAUS
    • Wherry, E.T., J.M. Fogg and H.A. Wahl. 1979. Atlas of the Flora of Pennsylvania. The Morris Arboretum of the Univ. of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia. B79WHE51PAUS.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Golden-fruit Sedge"
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Citation for data on this website:
Golden-fruit Sedge — Carex aurea.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from