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

Carex obtusata Lilj.
blunt sedge (obtuse sedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Curtis Bjork  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #24977)

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Distribution of Carex obtusata
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from slender, creeping, purple-black rhizomes; stems 5-20 cm tall, longer than the leaves, arising singly or a few together.
Sheaths tight, blunt at the mouths; blades 4 to 8 per stem, channeled, borne near the base, 1-1.5 mm wide, the lower ones persisting.
Spikes solitary, linear at first, expanding below at maturity, with both female and male flowers, the upper 2/3 of the spike consisting of male flowers, the female flowers below, 5-15 mm long, 3-6 mm wide, erect; bractless.
Perigynia few, egg-shaped, 3-4 mm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, glossy, dark brown, obscurely to conspicuously ribbed, unstalked, the beaks translucent, 0.5-1 mm long, deeply bidentate; female scales narrowly egg-shaped, from slightly shorter than to slightly longer than the perigynia, sharp-pointed to short-awned, pale brown, the centres paler, the margins translucent; stigmas 3; achenes broadly 3-angled, 1-1.7 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry rocky slopes, ridges and grasslands in the steppe to alpine zones; common in SC BC (Cariboo region), frequent in N BC; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to W ON, and S to MN, SD, NM, UT and WA; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Carex obtusata

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) 735 1463 2156
Slope Gradient (%) 0 17 65
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
20 169 335
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 3 6
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(2), ESSF(9), IDF(7), MS(7), PP(1), SBS(1), SWB(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.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References