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

Carex brevior (Dewey) Mack.
short-beaked sedge (shortbeak sedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Thayne Tuason  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #76896)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Carex brevior
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Species Information

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Perennial, tufted herb from fibrous roots; stems 20-80 cm tall, exceeding the leaves.
Sheaths tight; blades flat or folded, 2-4 mm wide, borne on the lower 1/3 of the stem.
Spikes 3 to 6, aggregated into a 1- to 5-cm long, often interrupted head, unstalked, with both female and male flowers, the female ones towards the tips; bracts subtending the spikes sheathless, reduced, inconspicuous.
Perigynia broadly egg-shaped to nearly globe-shaped, 3.2-4.6 mm long, 2.2-3.5 mm wide, pale green to tan, more or less flattened, the margins winged nearly to the bases and the upper 1/2 fringed with teeth, with nerves on both sides or nerveless below, the beaks shallowly bidentate, less than 1 mm long, narrowly margined and toothed below; female scales elliptical, brownish with translucent margins, somewhat shorter and narrower than the perigynia; stigmas 2; achenes lens-shaped, 1.7-2 mm long. vol6_2

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic meadows, forest margins, and streambanks in the steppe and montane zones; infrequent in SC and SE BC; E to PQ, NB and NS and S to ME, MA, VA, TN, MS, TX, NM, AZ, ID and OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Carex brevior

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) 1318 1645 1842
Slope Gradient (%) 32 55 85
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
178 205 260
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 3 4
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: ESSF(3)


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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Carex festucacea var. brevior (Dewey) Fernald

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References