Carex circinata C.A. Mey.
coiled sedge
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Hans Roemer     (Photo ID #25704)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Carex circinata
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial, tufted herb from short-creeping rhizomes; stems 5-25 cm tall, exceeding the leaves.
Sheaths light brown, the lower ones bladeless; blades several on each stem, crowded toward the bases, thread-like, the margins in-rolled, 0.5-1 mm wide, typically curving or arching.
Spikes solitary, lanceolate to cylindrical, 1.5-2.5 cm long, 2-4 mm wide, erect, with both female and male flowers, the male flowers towards the tips; bractless.
Perigynia few, lanceolate, 4.5-6 mm long, 1-1.5 mm wide, erect to ascending, reddish-tinged, obscurely compressed-triangular, smooth, nerved, 2 of these prominent, stalked, narrowly wing-margined, the beaks bidentate, about 1 mm long; female scales lanceolate, slightly shorter than the perigynia, the lower ones awn-tipped, the upper ones round-tipped, with broad, green or straw-coloured midribs and brown margins; stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, smooth, 1.3-1.7 mm long.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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.


Ecological Framework for Carex circinata

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)
1188 10 2541
Slope Gradient (%)
22 0 55

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

241 160 350
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
5 3 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

AT(1), CMA(1), CWH(3), IMA(1), SBPS(1)

Habitat and Range

Moist cliffs, ridges and talus slopes in the subalpine and alpine zones; infrequent in south-coastal BC, frequent in the Queen Charlotte Islands and adjacent mainland, rare in the Coast-Cascade Mountains; N to AK and S to NW WA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia