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

Carex paysonis Clokey
Payson's sedge
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Carex paysonis
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Species Information

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Perennial, tufted herb from short creeping rhizomes; stems 15-60 cm tall, exceeding the leaves.
Sheaths purplish-red towards the bases; blades flat, 2-6 mm wide, the lower ones much reduced.
Spikes 3 to 7, the terminal one with male flowers, the lower spikes 2 to 6, with female flowers, short-stalked, 0.6-2.5 cm long, erect to ascending, rarely nodding; bracts subtending the spikes sheathless, bristlelike to leaflike, about equalling the spikes.
Perigynia broadly egg-shaped, 3.5-4 mm long, 1.8-2 mm wide, pale yellow to purple-black, nerveless, the beaks short, less than 0.5 mm long; female scales lanceolate, nearly as long as and narrower than the perigynia, pointed at the tips, reddish-black, with light brown margins; stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, 1.5-1.7 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist meadows and rocky slopes in the subalpine and alpine zones; rare in extreme S BC; E to SW AB and S to WY, UT, NV and E OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Carex paysonis

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) 1210 2166 2649
Slope Gradient (%) 5 29 65
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
114 172 303
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 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: AT(3), ESSF(8)


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 podocarpa var. paysonis (Clokey) B. Boivin
Carex tolmiei auct. non Boott

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References