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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Simple Kobresia - Kobresia simpliciuscula

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S3
(see State Rank Reason below)
State Threat Score: Unknown
C-value: 9

Agency Status


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Rare in Montana, where it is known from over a dozen sites from montane wetlands to mesic, alpine tundra. The specieshas a wide distribution and is scattered across the mountainous portion of the state.
General Description
Stems 5–20 cm. Leaves flat, 1–2 mm wide. Inflorescence of several aggregated spikes 3–6 mm long; bracts 3–4 mm long. Spikelets: upper male, 1-flowered; lower female or bisexual, 1- or 2-flowered. Perigynia brown, 2.5–3 mm long. Achenes ca. 3 mm long (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Mature fruit in late July-August.

Diagnostic Characteristics
This species could easily be mistaken for a true sedge (Carex), but is distinguished by having a bract wrapped around the ovary, rather than a closed perigynium. Kobresia myosuroides , which can occur in the same habitat, is distinguished by having a solitary spike rather than multiple spikes.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
Glacier and Teton counties; circumboreal south to UT and CO (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 38

(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)

Montane fens to moist tundra in the alpine zone.
Predicted Suitable Habitat Model

This species has a Predicted Suitable Habitat Model available.

To learn how these Models were created see

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species

  • 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?
    • Cooper, D. J. 1991. Additions to the peatland flora of the southern Rocky Mountains: habitat description and water chemistry. Madrono 38(2): 139-143.
    • Culver, D.R. 1994. Floristic analysis of the Centennial Region, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 199 pp.
    • Fertig, W. and G. Jones. 1992. Plant communities and rare plant species of the Swamp Lake Botanical Area, Clark's Fork Ranger District, Shoshone National Forest. Unpublished report to the Shoshone National Forest. Challenge Cost Share Agreement No. CSA-2-91-14-0001. Wyoming Natural Diversity Database. 113+ pp.
    • Lesica, P. 1991. The Rare Vascular Plants of Pine Butte Swamp Preserve. Unpublished Report to the Nature Conservancy. 15 Pp.
    • Lesica, P. and B. McCune. 1992. Monitoring the effects of global warming using peripheral rare plants in wet alpine tundra in Glacier National Park, Montana. Unpublished report to Glacier National Park, Research Division, West Glacier, Montana 59936. 55pp.
    • Lesica, P., K. Lackschewitz, J. Pierce, S. Gregory and M. O'Brien. 1986. Noteworthy collections: Montana. Madrono 33:310-312.
    • 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.
    • Scott, R. W. 1966. The alpine flora of northwestern Wyoming. M.S. thesis. University of Wyoming, Laramie. 219 pp.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Simple Kobresia"
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Citation for data on this website:
Simple Kobresia — Kobresia simpliciuscula.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from