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

Carex cordillerana Saarela & B.A. Ford
Cordilleran sedge (mountain-range sedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #25178)

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Distribution of Carex cordillerana
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Species Information

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Perennial, tufted herb from short, blackish, fibrous roots; stems 5-35 cm tall, varying in length, densely clustered, usually shorter than the leaves, narrowly winged and roughened on the angles, enlarged below the spikes.
Sheaths tight, translucent below; blades 2 to 4 per stem, glaucous-green, with the margins rolled-under, minutely pimpled, borne on the lower 1/4 of the stem, 3-5 mm wide, the lower ones reduced.
Spikes 1 to 3, widely separated, from terminal to near basal, 10-15 mm long, with both male and female flowers, the male flowers towards the tips, few, unstalked, inconspicuous, about 2 mm long, the lower flowers female, 2 to 5, unstalked to short-stalked, erect; bracts subtending the female spikes leaflike, sheathless or short-sheathing, from shorter than to 6-10 times as long as the spikes, the upper bracts reduced.
Perigynia broadly egg-shaped, 4-5 mm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, green or greenish, inflated, smooth, nerveless, stalked, the beaks bidentate, conic, slightly fine-toothed, about 0.5-1 mm long; female scales greenish, leaflike, 0.5-2 cm long, 4-5 mm wide when f

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to dry meadows, shaded rocky slopes in the montane or subalpine zones; infrequent in BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains and S of 55degreeN; E to MB and S to IA, NE, CO, UT, NV and OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Carex cordillerana

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) 815 1007 1347
Slope Gradient (%) 0 6 10
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
80 9 300
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: IDF(2), SBS(1)


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 backii var. saximontana

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References