E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Carex arcta Boott
northern clustered sedge (northern cluster sedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #25644)

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Distribution of Carex arcta
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Species Information

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Perennial, somewhat tufted herb from elongate fibrous roots; stems 25-60 cm tall, about as long as the leaves.
Sheaths tight; blades numerous, borne on the lower part of the stem, 1.5-4 mm wide, flat.
Spikes 5 to 15 in a 3- to 5-cm long, dense, cylindrical or narrowly egg-shaped head, occasionally with a few spikes separate below, many-flowered, 5-8 mm long, ascending, with both female and male flowers, the female flowers towards the tips, the male flowers inconspicuous; lowermost bract awnlike, about 0.5-2 cm long.
Perigynia egg-shaped, 2.2-3.5 mm long, 0.8-1 mm wide, green, dark green or brownish, minutely whitish-dotted, plano-convex, smooth, obscurely ribbed, especially above, unstalked, the beaks about 1 mm long, minutely sharp-toothed, shallowly cleft; female scales egg-shaped, covering about 1/2 of the perigynia, pointed, nearly colourless to brownish, with green midribs; stigmas 2; achenes lens-shaped, 1.2-1.7 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to wet meadows, fens, marshes, ditches and clearings in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common in S BC; N to AK, YT and NT, E to Labr. and NB, and S to MA, NY, MI, WI, MN, ID and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Carex arcta

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 238 866 2040
Slope Gradient (%) 0 4 50
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
20 106 225
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 6 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CWH(9), ESSF(1), ICH(3), IDF(1), IMA(2), MH(1), MS(3), SBS(5)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References