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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Slender Sedge - Carex lasiocarpa

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4
C-value: 7

Agency Status


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General Description
Rhizomatous. Stems erect, 30–90 cm, loosely tufted. Leaves: basal bladeless; cauline blades 1–2 mm wide, inrolled. Inflorescence of 3 to 4 well-separated sessile spikes; the lowest bract leaflike, ca. as long as the inflorescence. Spikes unisexual, ascending; the uppermost 1 or 2 male, linear, 2–4 cm long; the lower female, 1–3 cm long, cylindrical. Perigynia ascending, purplish, ovoid, pilose, 3–4 mm; the beak 0.5–1 mm long with spreading teeth; stigmas 3. Female scales lanceolate, short-awned, purple with a pale midstripe, longer or shorter than the perigynia. Achene 3-sided, smaller than the perigynium (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Our plants are variety americana Fernald.

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
Circumboreal south to CA, ID, MT, IL and VA (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 333

(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)

Saturated, organic soil, often forming near monocultures in fens; valleys to lower subalpine (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • 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?
    • Law, D.J. 1999. A comparison of water table dynamics and soil texture under black cottonwood recent alluvial bar, beaked sedge, and Geyer's/Drummond's willow communities. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 68 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Slender Sedge — Carex lasiocarpa.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from