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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Palish Sedge - Carex pallescens

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SU
(see State Rank Reason below)
C-value: 6

Agency Status


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State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
This species may be introduced in Montana, thus its status is uncertain at this time. Occurrences in British Columbia are reported to be of introduced origin. This taxa is otherwise native to eastern North America.
General Description
Palish Sedge is a clumped perennial with flowering stems 15-75 cm high. Leaves are pale green, flat, 2-5 mm wide, and the lower have long, spreading hairs. 3-5 spikes are borne on the top of the stem. The terminal spike is made up of male flowers, and the lateral spikes are thick-cylindrical, 0.5-2.2 cm, on short stalks and made up of female flowers. Scales are acute and about the same length as perigynia. Perigynia are rounded on top, without a beak, and nerveless or faintly nerved. Each periygnium has 3 styles and a lens-shaped achene.

Fruiting in late June - early July.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Distinguished from Carex torreyi by the rounded perigynium top, lack of a beak and lack of a strongly-ribbed surface. A hand lens or microscope are needed for positive identification.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
Known from Ravalli County; AB to MB south to CO, SD, WI and QC to NL south to OH, NY, Eurasia (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 3

(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 woodland margins.

  • 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?
    • 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.
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Citation for data on this website:
Palish Sedge — Carex pallescens.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from