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

Carex engelmannii L.H. Bailey
Engelmann's sedge
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Hans Roemer  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #10265)

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

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Perennial, tufted herb from creeping rhizomes; stems 5-20 cm tall, equalling to slightly longer than the leaves.
Sheaths with longitudinal lines on the outer sides, blunt at the mouths, with short ligules; blades 5 to 9 per stem, in-rolled, thread-like, borne on the lower 1/4 of the stems, 0.3-0.5 mm wide, the lower ones lacking or reduced to scales.
Spikes solitary, with both female and male flowers, the few male flowers towards the tips, the spikes broadly egg-shaped, 10-15 mm long, 6-10 mm wide, erect; bractless.
Perigynia egg-shaped, 4.5-5 mm long, 1.8-2.3 mm wide, straw-coloured or brown, inflated, smooth, shiny, membranaceous, nerveless, short-stalked, the beaks short, bidentate; female scales egg-shaped, usually slightly shorter than the perigynia, sharp-pointed or awned, reddish-brown, brown or straw-coloured, the centres lighter, the margins translucent; stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, 1.2-1.5 mm long.
Further study may indicate that this species is better treated as a variety of C. breweri.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to dry meadows and talus slopes in the upper subalpine and alpine zones; locally frequent in SC BC; S to CO, UT, NV and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Carex engelmannii

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) 1430 1532 1600
Slope Gradient (%) 0 2 7
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
123 177 223
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 4 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: MS(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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Carex breweri Boott
Carex breweri var. paddoensis (Suksd.) Cronquist

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References