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

Carex epapillosa Mack.
blackened sedge
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Carex epapillosa
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Species Information

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Perennial, tufted herb from fibrous roots; stems 15-60 cm tall, exceeding the leaves.
Sheaths purplish-red towards the bases; blades flat, 2-6 mm wide, the lower ones fully developed.
Spikes usually 2 to 5, the terminal spikes with both female and male flowers, the female ones towards the tips, the lower spikes 1 to 4, with female flowers, 0.6-2.5 cm long, erect, short-stalked, usually the lowermost spikes remote and long stalked; bracts subtending the spikes short-sheathing, leaflike, about equalling the spikes.
Perigynia broadly egg-shaped to nearly globe-shaped, 3.5-4 mm long, 1.8-2 mm wide, flattened, dull yellowish-green with purplish spots, 2-ribbed, the beaks short bidentate, less than 0.5 mm long; female scales lanceolate, nearly as long as and narrower than the perigynia, reddish-black, with light brown margins, with pointed tips; stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, 1.5-1.7 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to dry meadows in the upper subalpine to alpine zones; rare in SC BC; E to SW AB and S to CO, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Carex epapillosa

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) 1370 1370 1370
Slope Gradient (%) 20 20 20
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
20 20 20
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 2 2
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(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 heteroneura var. epapillosa (Mack.) F.J. Herm.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References