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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Pointed Broom Sedge - Carex scoparia

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S1S2
(see State Rank Reason below)
State Threat Score: No Known Threats
C-value: 7

Agency Status
USFS: Sensitive - Known in Forests (BD, BRT)


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Rare in Montana, where it is currently known from only a few sites in the Clark Fork and Bitterroot River drainages.
General Description
Pointed Broom Sedge forms dense clumps without rhizomes and has stems 4-10 dm high. The lowermost leaves are reduced to scales. The leaf blades, which are 1-3 mm wide, are flat and clustered just above the scales on the lower stem. Flowers are clustered in 3-8 egg-shaped, stalkless spikes, which are 8-14 mm long and in close proximity to each other at the top of the stem. Male flowers (recognized by the old stamens) occur at the base of each spike. The pale green to light brown egg-shaped perigynia are 4-6 mm long and taper gradually to a poorly-defined beak. The firm scales are light brown with a green center and are smaller than the perigynia that they subtend. There are 2 styles and the achenes are lens-shaped.

Fruiting in August.

Diagnostic Characteristics
There are many sedges similar to C. scoparia. The common C. bebbii has perigynia that are less than 4 mm long. A technical manual and hand lens or microscope will be needed for positive identification.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
BC to NL south to CA, ID, MT, KS, MS and GA (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 17

(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 soil along rivers and sloughs in the valleys.
Predicted Suitable Habitat Model

This species has a Predicted Suitable Habitat Model available.

To learn how these Models were created see

Threats or Limiting Factors
Threat impact not assigned because threats are not known (MTNHP Threat Assessment 2021).

  • 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?
    • Hermann, F. J. 1970. Manual of the Carices of the Rocky Mountains and Colorado Basin. Agricultural Handbook No. 374. USDA Forest Service. 397 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.
    • 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 "Pointed Broom Sedge"
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Citation for data on this website:
Pointed Broom Sedge — Carex scoparia.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from