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Montana Field Guides

Rock Sedge - Carex rupestris

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4
C-value: 4

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Rhizomatous. Stems erect, 2–15 cm, tufted. Leaves mainly basal; blades 1–3 mm wide, curled at the tip. Inflorescence a solitary bractless spike. Spike narrow, 1–2 cm long; male flowered portion usually 5–10 mm long; female flowers below, few. Perigynia narrowly ellipsoid, 2–3.5 mm long, green below, brown above, with a beak up to 0.5 mm long; stigmas 3. Female scales brown with hyaline margins, mostly concealing the perigynia. Achene 3-sided, nearly filling the perigynium (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
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: 102

(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)

Gravelly soil of grasslands, fellfields, turf, often on exposed slopes, ridges; valleys to alpine, more common higher (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?
    • Aho, Ken Andrew. 2006. Alpine and Cliff Ecosystems in the North-Central Rocky Mountains. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 343 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.
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Citation for data on this website:
Rock Sedge — Carex rupestris.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from