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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Little Prickly Sedge - Carex echinata
Other Names:  Carex muricata [misapplied]

Status Under Review
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S3?

Agency Status
C-value: 8


External Links

General Description
Caespitose. Stems erect, 12–40 cm. Leaves basal and cauline; blades 1–2 mm wide. Inflorescence of 2 to 5 sessile, well-separated spikes; lowest bract inconspicuous. Spikes ca. 5 mm long; the uppermost bisexual with a few male flowers below; the lower female. Perigynia spreading, brown, ovate, thin-edged, 2–3 mm long, tapered to the serrulate beak, 1–1.5 mm long; stigmas 2. Female scales ovate, hyaline-tan with a green midvein, shorter than the perigynia. Achene 2-sided, filling the perigynium (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Our plants are subspecies echinata.

Species Range

Range Comments
BC to QC south to CA, NV, UT, CO, TN and NC (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 41

(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)


  • 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.
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Citation for data on this website:
Little Prickly Sedge — Carex echinata.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from