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Montana Field Guides

Green-keeled Cottonsedge - Eriophorum viridicarinatum

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4
(see State Rank Reason below)
C-value: 10

Agency Status


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
See rank details.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Green-keeled Cottonsedge (Eriophorum viridicarinatum) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 08/22/2012
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    Score1 - Moderate: Generally 10,000-100,000 individuals.

    Range Extent

    Score0 - Widespread species within Montana (occurs in 5% or more of the state or generally occurring in 6 or more sub-basins.) as well as outside of Montana.

    Area of Occupancy

    Score0 - High: Occurs in >25 Subwatersheds (6th Code HUC’s).

    Environmental Specificity

    Score2 - High: Species is restricted to a highly specialized and limited habitat and is typically dependent upon unaltered, high-quality habitat (C Values of 8-10).


    ScoreNA - Rank factor not assessed.

    CommentTrends are undocumented, though populations are likely stable or experiencing only minor declines.


    Score0-1 - Low to Medium.

    Intrinsic Vulnerability

    Score0-1 - Low to Moderate Vulnerability.

    Raw Conservation Status Score

    Score 3 to 5 total points scored out of a possible 16 (Rarity factors and threats only).

General Description
Rhizomatous. Stems 25–60 cm. Leaves: flat; blades 2–5 mm wide. Inflorescence 2 to 10 nodding, pedunculate spikelets; bracts 2 or more, leaf-like, as long as the inflorescence. Spikelets 15–30 mm long in fruit; lowest scale ca. as long as the spikelet. Fertile scales 4–6 mm long, greenish black with a pale midvein that reaches the tip. Bristles whitish. Achene 2–4 mm long, minutely apiculate (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
AK to NL south to BC, ID, CO, IL and PA (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 174

(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, organic soil of (often calcareous) fens in the valleys and montane zone.

  • 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. 1986. Vegetation and flora of Pine Butte fen, Teton County, Montana. The Great Basin Naturalist 46(1): 22-32.
    • Lesica, P. 1994. The distribution of plant community diversity associated with glacial wetlands in the Ovando Valley, Montana. [Unpublished report.] The Nature Conservancy, Montana Field Office, Helena. 26 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.
    • Maguire, B. 1939. Distrubution notes concerning plants of Glacier National Park, Montana-II. Rhodora 41:504-508.
    • Moseley, R. K., R. J. Bursik, and M. Manusco. 1991. Floristic inventory of wetlands in Fremont and Teton counties, Idaho. Unpublished report on file IDCDC Department of Fish & Game, Boise, ID. 60 pp.
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Citation for data on this website:
Green-keeled Cottonsedge — Eriophorum viridicarinatum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from