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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Large-fruited Kobresia - Kobresia sibirica
Other Names:  Kobresia macrocarpa

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S2
(see State Rank Reason below)
State Threat Score: Unknown
C-value: 8

Agency Status


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Rare in Montana. Only known in the state from a small area of the Beartooth Plateau.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Large-fruited Kobresia (Kobresia sibirica) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 06/28/2012
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    Score2-3 - Very Small to Small: Population size is imprecisely known but is believed to be <10,000 individuals.

    Range Extent

    Score1 - Peripheral, Disjunct or Sporadic Distribution in MT: Widespread species that is peripheral, disjunct or sporadically distributed within MT such that it occurs in <5% of the state (<7,500 sq. miles or the combined area of Beaverhead and Ravalli Counties) or is restricted to 4-5 sub-basins.

    Area of Occupancy

    Score3 - Very Low: Generally occurring in 3 or fewer Subwatersheds (6th Code HUC’s).

    Environmental Specificity

    Score2 - High: Species is restricted to a highly specialized and limited habitat and is typically dependent upon unaltered, high-quality habitat (C Values of 8-10).


    Score0-3 - Population trends are unknown.


    Score0-1 - Low to Medium.

    Intrinsic Vulnerability

    Score0-1 - Low to Moderate Vulnerability.

    Raw Conservation Status Score

    Score 8 to 14 total points scored out of a possible 19.

General Description
Stems 5–15 cm. Leaves inrolled, ca. 0.5 mm wide; basal bladeless. Inflorescence 1–2 cm long, a solitary spike; bracts 5–6 mm long. Spikelets: upper male, 1-flowered; lower bisexual, 1- to 3-flowered. Perigynia light brown, 3.5–5 mm long. Achenes 2.5–4 mm long (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Fruit matures in late July-August.

Diagnostic Characteristics
This species could be confused with Kobresia bellardii, Carex elynoides, or Carex scirpoidea, which have narrower spikes, usually less than 4 mm wide. The former two species occur in drier habitats.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
Circumpolar south to 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: 6

(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)

Moist tundra, solifluction slopes, and gravelly lake shores in the alpine zone.
Predicted Suitable Habitat Model

This species has a Predicted Suitable Habitat Model available.

To learn how these Models were created see

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species

  • 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?
    • Fertig, W. and M. Bynum. 1994. Biological report on the proposed Twin Lakes Research Natural Area. Unpublished report to the Shoshone National Forest. Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, Laramie, Wyoming. 33 pp. plus appendices.
    • Lesica, P. 1993. Vegetation and flora of the Line Creek Plateau area, Carbon County, Montana. Unpublished report to USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, Montana. 30 pp.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Large-fruited Kobresia — Kobresia sibirica.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from