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

Carex stylosa C.A. Mey.
long-styled sedge (variegated sedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #25727)

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Distribution of Carex stylosa
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Species Information

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Perennial, tufted herb from short, stout rhizomes; stems 15-40 cm tall, exceeding the leaves.
Sheaths purplish-red towards the bases; blades flat, 2-6 mm wide, the lower ones not reduced.
Spikes 3 to 5, the terminal one with male flowers, the lower spikes 2 to 4, with female flowers, 0.5-2 cm long, short-stalked, erect; bracts subtending the spikes sheathless, bristlelike to scalelike, shorter than the inflorescence.
Perigynia egg-shaped, 2.5-3.5 mm long, 1.5-1.8 mm wide, green, brown to dark brown, nerveless, the beaks obscure, less than 0.3 mm long; female scales lanceolate, shorter and narrower than the perigynia, pointed at the tips, brown, with light brown margins; styles prominently exserted, stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, 1.5 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Marshes, fens, bogs and moist to wet meadows and gravelly sites in the lowland to alpine zones; frequent in coastal BC; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, disjunct E to NF and S to NW WA; Greenland, N Europe and E Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Carex stylosa

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) 0 250 1740
Slope Gradient (%) 0 17 73
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
5 337 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 5 7
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: BWBS(1), CWH(49), ESSF(2), MH(6)


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 cool temperate & cool mesothermal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Carex stylosa var. nigritella (Drejer) Fernald

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References