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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Capitate Sedge - Carex capitata

Status Under Review
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S3?
C-value: 7

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Short-rhizomatous. Stems erect, 5–15 cm, tufted. Leaves mainly basal; blades ca. 1 mm wide, inrolled. Inflorescence a solitary spike; lowest bract absent. Spike ovoid, 5–10 mm long; male flowers above female. Perigynia ascending, glabrous, suborbicular, 3–3.5 mm long, tan to brown, with a distinct, entire beak ca. 0.5 mm long; stigmas 2. Female scales brown with hyaline margins, exposing only the tip of the perigynia. Achene 2-sided, smaller than the perigynium (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
Circumpolar south to CA, NV, CO and NH. Known from Carbon County (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 11

(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)

Open, dry or wet places at high altitudes in the mountains.

  • 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?
    • Clark, D. 1991. The effect of fire on Yellowstone ecosystem seed banks. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 115 pp.
    • Haglund, B.M. 1972. Ecological effects of weather modification, Bangtail Ridge, Bridger Range, Montana: relationships of pocket gophers (Thomomys talpoides) to time of snow melt. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 26 p.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Capitate Sedge"
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Citation for data on this website:
Capitate Sedge — Carex capitata.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from