Perennial, tufted herb from fibrous roots; stems 5-20 cm tall, exceeding the leaves.
Sheaths tight, brownish to straw-coloured; blades flat, 1-3 mm wide, borne on the lower 1/3 of the stem.
Spikes 2 to 5, the terminal one long-stalked, 4-10 mm long, with male flowers, the lower 2 to 4 spikes with female flowers, long-stalked, spreading or nodding; bracts subtending the female spikes tubular-sheathed, leaflike, the lower bracts longer than the spikes and their stalks, the upper one reduced.
Perigynia lanceolate to egg-shaped, 2-3.3 mm long, 1-1.5 mm wide, green to greenish-brown, convex, smooth or fringed above with teeth, 2-nerved, short-stalked, the beaks bidentate, 0.3-0.6 mm long; female scales egg-shaped, rounded to pointed, brownish, with green centres and translucent margins, shorter but often wider than the perigynia; stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, 1.2-1.5 mm long.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
Present over the Summer
Source: The USDA
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
|AT(26), BAFA(8), BWBS(14), CWH(1), ESSF(36), ICH(4), IDF(2), IMA(4), MS(19), SBPS(5), SBS(9), SWB(11)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Carex boecheriana A. Löve, D. Löve & Raymond
Carex capillaris subsp. chlorostachys (Stev.) A. Löve, D. Löve & Raymond
Carex capillaris subsp. krausei (Boeckeler) Böcher
Carex capillaris subsp. porsildiana (Polunin) Böcher
Carex capillaris subsp. robustior (Drejer ex Lange) Böcher
Carex capillaris var. elongata Olney ex Fernald
Carex capillaris var. fuscidula (Krecz.) A. Löve & D. Löve
Carex capillaris var. krausei (Boeckeler) Crantz
Carex capillaris var. major Blytt
Carex krausei subsp. porsildiana (Polunin) A. Löve, D. Löve & Raymond