Many-headed Sedge - Carex sychnocephala
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Currently known in the state from three occurrences that are believed to be extant. Also, known from one 1891 collection near Great Falls and two locations in northwest Montana now believed to be extirpated or severly impacted as a result of wetland draining and construction of a dock. The remaining populations are on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and a Nature Conservancy Preserve. Due to the habitats in which the species grows, it is vulnerable to development and hydrologic alterations.
Caespitose. Stems erect, 5–50 cm. Leaves basal and cauline; blades 1–3 mm wide. Inflorescence of 4 to 12 sessile spikes in a dense head; lower bracts erect, much longer than the inflorescence. Spikes 4–8 mm long, all similar; female flowers above few male. Perigynia erect, linear-lanceolate, green to tan, wing- and serrulate-margined, 3–6.5 × 0.8–1 mm, tapered to the serrulate beak, 3–5 mm long; stigmas 2. Female scales lanceolate, acuminate, tan-hyaline with a green midvein, shorter or longer than the perigynia. Achene 2-sided, smaller than the perigynium (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX
Fruit mature in July-August.
The combination of long, leaf-like lower bracts, and long, narrow perigynia is distinctive.
AK to QC south to WA, CO, MO and NY (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Moist soil of meadows along streams and ponds in the valleys and on the plains.
Threats or Limiting Factors
STATE THREAT SCORE REASON
Reported threats to Montana's populations of Many-headed Sedge concern factors presumably responsible for extinction of two populations. One population was destroyed where a dock was constructed. Another population was lost where a wetland was drained to expand agricultural use. Hydrological alteration actions that dewater or inundate Many-headed Sedge habitat pose a threat to several populations located where it is employed for agricultural benefit. Remaining populations located in areas that are reasonably desirable for development or agricultural expansion are threatened by direct displacement and declining habitat quality following fragmentation. (MTNHP Threat Assessment 2021).
- 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?
- Heidel, B.L., S.V. Cooper and C. Jean. 2000. Plant species of special concern and plant associations of Sheridan County, Montana. Report to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, Montana. 96 p.
- Hermann, F. J. 1970. Manual of the Carices of the Rocky Mountains and Colorado Basin. Agricultural Handbook No. 374. USDA Forest Service. 397 pp.
- Lesica, P. and J. S. Shelly. 1988. The vegetation and flora of glaciated prairie potholes on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Montana: Progress report. Unpublished report to the Montana Nature Conservancy, Helena, MT. 19 pp.