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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Bebb's Sedge - Carex bebbii

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4
C-value: 7

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Caespitose. Stems erect, 20–70 cm. Leaves: basal blades absent; cauline blades 1–3 mm wide. Inflorescence of 4 to 10 sessile spikes, aggregated into an ovoid to elongate head. Spikes 4–9 mm long, all similar; female flowers above, male below; lowest bract inconspicuous. Perigynia erect, glabrous, green to tan, ovate, flattened, wing-margined, 3–4 × 1–2 mm, gradually tapering to the indistinct beak, 1–2 mm long, serrulate to the tip; stigmas 2. Female scales tan-hyaline, sometimes with a green midvein, shorter and narrower than 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 densely aggregated; pistillate scales distinctly shorter than the perigynia; perigynia ovate, winged to the base, gradually tapering to the erect or ascending beak, conspicuously distended over the achene, brown at maturity, less than 4 mm long and 2 mm wide, two fifths to half as wide as long.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
AK to NL south to OR, UT, CO, IA, IN, 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: 45

(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 meadows, marshes, streambanks, shores of lakes, ponds; valleys (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?
    • Bright, J. 1925-1930. The Genus Carex in Pennsylvania, Trillia 9:1-33. A25BRI01PAUS
    • 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.
    • 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., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY. 910 pp.
    • Gleason, H.A. 1952. New Britton & Brown. Illustrated Flora. Lancaster Press Inc. Lancaster, Pa. B52GLE01PAUS
    • Hermann, F.J. 1941. The Genus Carex in Michigan in American Midland Naturalist 25 (1): 1-72. A41HER01PAUS.
    • 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. 1931. Flora of North America. New York Botanical Gardens, New York, New York. A31MAC01PAUS.
    • 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.
    • Voss, E.G. 1972. Michigan Flora Part I. Kingsport Press, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. B72VOS01PAUS
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Citation for data on this website:
Bebb's Sedge — Carex bebbii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from