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

Carex tenuiflora Wahlenb.
sparse-flowered sedge (sparseflower sedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ryan Batten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #53151)

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Distribution of Carex tenuiflora
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Species Information

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Perennial, loosely tufted herb from long rhizomes; stems 15-60 cm tall, longer than the leaves.
Sheaths tight; blades 3 to 7, borne on the lower part of the stem, 0.5-2 mm wide, flat or channeled.
Spikes 3 to 5 in a terminal head, egg-shaped, many-flowered, 5-10 mm long, ascending, with both female and male flowers, the female flowers towards the tips, the male flowers inconspicuous; all bracts strongly reduced.
Perigynia elliptical, elongated, 3-3.5 mm long, 0.8-1.3 mm wide, greenish-white, minutely whitish-dotted, plano-convex, smooth, faintly nerved, unstalked; female scales egg-shaped, covering the perigynia, blunt, light green, with green midribs; stigmas 2; achenes lens-shaped, 1.7-2 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Fens, bogs and moist forests in the montane zone; infrequent in BC east of the Coast Mountains and N of 52degreeN; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to ME, MA, NY, MI, MN, NM and WA; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Carex tenuiflora

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) 326 989 1650
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 5
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
90 282 350
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 6 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: BWBS(13), ESSF(9), ICH(14), IDF(4), MS(17), SBPS(11), SBS(63)


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