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

Carex deweyana Schwein. var. deweyana
Dewey's sedge
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Carex deweyana var. deweyana
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Species Information

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Perennial, somewhat to densely tufted herb from fibrous roots or short rhizomes; stems 20-120 cm tall, exceeding the leaves.
Sheaths tight; blades numerous, borne on the lower part of the stems, 2-5 mm wide, flat.
Spikes 2 to 8 in a 2- to 8-cm long, flexuous head, the spikes separate below, the upper ones congested, cylindrical or egg-shaped, many-flowered, 7-20 mm long, ascending, with both female and male flowers, the female flowers towards the tips, the male flowers inconspicuous; bracts inconspicuous and like the scales or the lower ones longer and bristlelike.
Perigynia cylindrical to lanceolate, 3.5-5.5 mm long, 1-2 mm wide, pale green, biconvex, smooth, obscurely nerved below, tapered and stalked to rounded and spongy at the bases, the walls thin papery, the beaks 1/2 the length of the bodies, shallowly to deeply bidentate, finely toothed at the bases, the margins fine-toothed; female scales egg-shaped, shorter than, equalling, or slightly longer and equalling to wider than the perigynia, pointed, brown to reddish-brown, the margins translucent; stigmas 2; achenes lens-shaped, 1.5-2.5 mm long.
Some authors (Cronquist 1969, Taylor 1983) have merged C. bolanderi and C. letopoda with C. deweyana while others have treated them either as varieties of the latter (Taylor and MacBryde 1977, Boivin 1992, Douglas and Ceska 1994) or at the specific level (Hermann 1970, Scoggan 1978, Hickman 1993, Kartesz and Meacham 1999). In this treatment we are recognizing these taxa at the varietal level:

1. Rootstocks rarely elongate, the stems usually densely tufted; perigynia rounded at the bases, 4.5-5.5 mm long, the beaks shallowly bidentate, the upper part of the bodies covered by the translucent scales; achenes 2-2.5 mm long.................... var. deweyana

1. Rootstocks slender, elongate, the stems various; perigynia tapering at the bases, stalked, 3.5-4.5 mm long, the beaks shallowly to deeply bidentate, the upper part of the bodies either covered or not by the translucent scales; achenes 1.5-1.8 mm long.

2. Beaks of the perigynia shallowly bidentate, the upper part of the bodies not covered by the translucent scales; spikes egg-shaped or cylindrical; scales not reddish brown-tinged........................ var. leptopoda (Mack.) Boivin

2. Beaks of perigynia deeply bidentate, the upper part of the bodies covered by the translucent scales; spikes narrowly cylindrical; scales usually reddish brown-tinged....................... var. bolanderi (Olney) W. Boott

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Wet to moist alluvial forests, forest margins, streambanks, meadows (vars. bolanderi and leptopoda) and clearings (var. deweyana) in the lowland, steppe, and montane zones; common in BC south of 55degreeN, infrequent northward; var. deweyana - N to AK and YT, E to NF and S to MA, NY, PA, IL, IA, SD, NM, UT and NV; var. bolanderi and var. leptopoda - N to AK and YT, E to NF and S to NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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 deweyana subsp. deweyana

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References