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

Carex sychnocephala Carey
many-headed sedge
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #87994)

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Distribution of Carex sychnocephala
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Species Information

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Perennial, tufted herb from fibrous roots; stems 5-50 cm tall, decumbent, barely exceeding the leaves, often nodding.
Sheaths tight; blades flat, 1.5-4 mm wide, borne on the lower 1/3 of the stem.
Spikes 5 to 15, aggregated into a 1- to 3-cm long ellipsoid head, unstalked, with both female and male flowers, the female ones towards the tips; bracts subtending the spikes sheathless, the lowermost much-prolonged, 2-15 cm long, the others slightly shorter.
Perigynia narrowly lanceolate, 4.5-6 mm long, 0.9-1.2 mm wide, light green to straw-coloured or brownish, more or less flattened, the margins very narrowly winged nearly to the bases and the upper 1/2 fringed with teeth, lightly several-nerved on both sides or nerveless below, the beaks bidentate, 2.5-4 mm long, narrowly margined and toothed below; female scales lanceolate, brownish, with green centres and translucent margins, somewhat shorter and narrower than the perigynia, short-awned; stigmas 2; achenes lens-shaped, 1.1-1.3 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Shorelines and wet to moist meadows in the steppe and montane zones; infrequent in SC and SE BC; N to S YT and S NT, E to S PQ and S to MI, WI, MO, SD, CO and N WA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Carex sychnocephala

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) 875 1043 1212
Slope Gradient (%) 0 2 5
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
270 270 270
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
5 6 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: IDF(1), PP(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