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

Carex macrochaeta C.A. Mey.
large-awned sedge (longawn sedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Carex macrochaeta
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Species Information

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Perennial, loosely tufted herb from short, branching rhizomes, the roots soft-hairy; stems 10-70 cm tall, as long as or longer than the leaves, reddish-tinged at the bases.
Sheaths tight; blades 2 to 5 per stem, flat with slightly rolled-under margins, borne on lower 1/2 of stem, 2-5 mm wide, lower ones much reduced.
Spikes 3 to 5, the terminal one linear, 15-25 mm long, with male flowers, the lower spikes 2 to 4, with female flowers, cylindrical, 1-3 cm long, 6-8 mm wide, separate, long-stalked, ascending, the lower one nodding; bracts subtending the lowest spike leaflike, sheathless or short-sheathing, shorter or longer than the inflorescence, the others reduced.
Perigynia narrowly egg-shaped, 3.3-5.5 mm long, 1-2.5 mm wide, usually light green, 10- to 15-nerved, short-stalked, beakless to short-beaked, 0.1-0.2 mm long; female scales egg-shaped, rounded, long-awned, the awns 3-5 mm long, as wide as and shorter or sometimes longer than the perigynia, black to dark brown, with lighter, green centres and translucent margins; stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, stalked, smooth, 1.7-2.3 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to wet meadows, heaths, streambanks, and beaches in the lowland to subalpine zones; common in and W of Coast-Cascade Mountains, frequent E of Coast-Cascade Mountains; amphiberingian, N to AK and S to OR; NE Asia, Japan.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Carex macrochaeta

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) 0 1335 2420
Slope Gradient (%) 0 28 90
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 183 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 8
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: AT(2), BAFA(69), CMA(5), CWH(20), ESSF(27), IMA(3), MH(26), SBS(1), SWB(8)


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 subalpine boreal & cool mesothermal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References