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

Carex vaginata Tausch
sheathed sedge
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #85608)

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

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Perennial herb from slender, creeping rhizomes; stems 10-60 cm tall, arising singly or a few together, longer than the leaves.
Sheaths tight, tubular; blades 4 to 8 per stem, flat or channeled towards the bases, borne on the lower 1/4 of the stem, 1-5 mm wide.
Spikes 3 to 5, more or less remote, long-stalked, erect to spreading, the terminal one linear, 1-2 cm long, with male flowers, the lower 2 to 4 spikes cylindrical, with female flowers; bracts subtending the female spikes sheathing, leaflike, 1-3 cm long, shorter than the spikes.
Perigynia egg-shaped to elliptical, 3.5-5 mm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, yellowish-green or brownish, slightly inflated, smooth, shiny, strongly 2-nerved marginally, spreading or ascending, short-stalked, the beaks bidentate, often dark-tipped, 0.6-1.2 mm long; female scales egg-shaped, shorter than the perigynia, brown, the centres pale green, the margins translucent, the tips round to short-awned; stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, 1.6-2.2 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Swamps, bogs, seepage areas and wet meadows in the montane zone; frequent in N and E BC, rare in SC BC; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to ME, VT, MI, WI, MN and MT; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Carex vaginata

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) 410 960 1799
Slope Gradient (%) 0 4 57
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
15 342 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 5 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(2), BWBS(31), CWH(2), ESSF(4), IDF(5), MS(1), SBS(6), SWB(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 saltuensis L.H. Bailey

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References