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

Carex magellanica Lam.
Boreal bog sedge (Lapland Sedge; poor sedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Judith Holm  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #74796)

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Distribution of Carex magellanica
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Carex magellanica ssp. irrigua

Species Information

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Perennial, tufted herb from short or long rhizomes, the roots yellowish-woolly; stems 10-80 cm tall, longer than the leaves, reddish-brown at the bases.
Sheaths thin, red-dotted below; ligules conspicuous; blades 3 to 9 per stem, flat, with slightly rolled-under margins, borne on the lower 1/2 of the stem, 2-4 mm wide, the lower ones reduced.
Spikes 3 to 5, the terminal one linear, 4-12 mm long, long-stalked, with male flowers, the lower spikes 2 to 4, with female flowers or sometimes with a few male flowers below, cylindrical, 4-22 mm long, 4-8 mm wide, separate, long-stalked, nodding; bracts subtending the lowest spike leaflike, 2-10 cm long, sheathless or short-sheathing, longer than the inflorescence, the others reduced.
Perigynia broadly egg-shaped to broadly elliptical, 2.5-3.5 mm long, 1.3-1.8 mm wide, pale green, somewhat compressed, densely pimpled, conspicuously few-nerved, short-stalked, beakless or short-beaked, the beaks 0.5-1 mm long; female scales lanceolate to narrowly egg-shaped, long-pointed or sometimes short-awned, usually longer and narrower than the perigynia, light to dark brown, with lighter, green centres and brown margins; stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, stalked, smooth, 1.4-1.9 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Bogs, fens and swamps in the lowland, montane and subalpine zones; frequent throughout BC except absent on the Queen Charlotte Islands; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to NJ, PA, OH, IN, IL, IA, MN, CO, UT, NV and WA; Greenland, Iceland, Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Carex magellanica

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) 0 1169 2541
Slope Gradient (%) 0 1 70
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
20 356 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 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: AT(1), BWBS(5), CWH(1), ESSF(54), ICH(27), IDF(2), IMA(1), MH(3), MS(20), SBPS(6), SBS(51)

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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