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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Common Beaked Sedge - Carex utriculata
Other Names:  Northwest Territory Sedge, Carex rostrata [misapplied]

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5
C-value: 6

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Rhizomatous. Stems erect, 50–100 cm. Leaves basal and cauline; blades 4–10 mm wide, yellowish-green, not inrolled. Inflorescence of 4 to 8 well-separated spikes; the lowest bract greater than the inflorescence. Spikes unisexual; the uppermost 1 to 3 male, linear; the lower female, ascending, 2–10 cm long, subsessile to pedunculate, cylindric. Perigynia perpendicular spreading, green to tan, elliptic, inflated, glabrous, 4–6 mm long; the distinct narrow bidentate beak ca. 1.5 mm long; stigmas 3. Female scales acuminate to awned, brown with hyaline margins and pale midvein, smaller than the perigynia. Achene 3-sided, much smaller than 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 CA, AZ, NM, SD, TN 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: 839

(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)

Abundant in wet soil to standing water of marshes, fens, swamps, around streams, ponds; plains, valleys to 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?
    • Culver, D.R. 1994. Floristic analysis of the Centennial Region, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 199 pp.
    • Deane, C.E. 2017. Harvest, nasal-markers, and Lesser Scaup vital rates. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 102 p.
    • Jones, W. W. 1901. Preliminary flora of Gallatin County. M.S. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State College. 78 pp.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Common Beaked Sedge"
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Citation for data on this website:
Common Beaked Sedge — Carex utriculata.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from