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

Carex laeviculmis Meinsh.
smooth-stemmed sedge (smoothstem sedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Judith Holm  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #79759)

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Distribution of Carex laeviculmis
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Species Information

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Perennial, densely tufted herb from slender rhizomes; stems 30-70 cm tall, longer than the leaves, roughened above.
Sheaths tight; blades about 3 to 5 per stem, flat, borne on the lower 1/2 of the stem, 1-2 mm wide, the lower ones reduced.
Spikes 3 to 8, the terminal one unstalked, 4-7 mm long, with both male and female flowers, the female flowers towards the tips, the lower spikes 2 to 7, ascending to widely spreading, remote to crowded, 3- to 10-flowered, with female flowers only, unstalked; bracts of the lowest spike hairlike, up to 5 cm long, the upper ones reduced.
Perigynia egg-shaped, 2.5-4 mm long, 1.5-1.7 mm wide, plano-convex, spreading or ascending, greenish-brown to light green, few-nerved, spongy below, the beaks 1/3 to 1/4 the length of the bodies, inconspicuously bidentate; female scales egg-shaped, rounded at the tips, sharply keeled, shorter than the perigynia, yellowish-brown, with greenish midribs; stigmas 2; achenes lens-shaped, 1.2-1.8 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Bogs, shorelines, streambanks, wet meadows and moist forests in the lowland and montane zones; common in SW and SE BC south of 55degreeN, infrequent in SC BC, rare in N BC; amphiberingian, N to AK and S to CO, ID and CA; E Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Carex laeviculmis

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) 3 547 1990
Slope Gradient (%) 0 12 84
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
1 254 354
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 6 8
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: BAFA(1), BWBS(2), CWH(98), ESSF(14), ICH(13), MH(19), MS(1), SBPS(3), SBS(4), SWB(2)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to subalpine. Asian and Western North American sedge distributed equally in the Pacific and Cordilleran regions. Occurs on wet to very wet, nitrogen-medium soils within boreal, temperate. and cool mesothermal climates. Scattered in non-forested, semi-terrestrial communities (less frequent in forest understories) on water-collecting sites; often with Lysichitum americanum. Characteristic of wetlands.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


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 var. sparsiflora L.H. Bailey

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References