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

Carex siccata Dewey
hay sedge (dryspike sedge; silvertop sedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #6998)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Carex siccata
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Species Information

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Perennial, rhizomatous herb from long, slender rhizomes; stems 20-90 cm tall, exceeding the leaves.
Sheaths tight, green; blades flat, 1.5-3 mm wide, the lower ones reduced to scales.
Spikes 4 to 12, unstalked, 0.6-1 cm long, clustered into a 1.5- to 3.5-cm long cylindrical head, the upper spikes with both male and female flowers, the male flowers usually towards the tips, the lower spikes slightly remote; bracts subtending the spikes strongly reduced, only the lowermost sometimes bristlelike.
Perigynia egg-shaped, 3-6 mm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, yellowish- to reddish-brown, plano-convex, the margins winged and fringed with teeth above the middle, 8- to 14-nerved on the backs, nerveless or nerved at the bases, the beaks bidentate, about as long as the perigynia bodies; female scales egg-shaped, nearly or as long and wide as the perigynia, pointed at the tips, reddish- or yellowish-brown, the centres 3-nerved with narrow, green margins; stigmas 2; achenes lens-shaped, 1.5-2 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry, often sandy sites in the steppe and montane zones; frequent in BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains except rare in NW BC; N to S YT and NT, E to S PQ and S to MA, NC, TN, IA, SD, NM and AZ.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Carex siccata

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) 645 1207 2103
Slope Gradient (%) 0 14 75
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
90 196 312
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 4 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), ESSF(5), IDF(2), MS(1), PP(3), SBS(2)


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 foenea var. enervis Evans & Mohlenbr.
Carex foenea var. foenea
Carex foenea var. tuberculata F.J. Herm.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References