Carex engelmannii L.H. Bailey
Engelmann's sedge
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Hans Roemer     (Photo ID #10265)


E-Flora BC Static Map

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

Species Information

Perennial, tufted herb from creeping rhizomes; stems 5-20 cm tall, equalling to slightly longer than the leaves.
Sheaths with longitudinal lines on the outer sides, blunt at the mouths, with short ligules; blades 5 to 9 per stem, in-rolled, thread-like, borne on the lower 1/4 of the stems, 0.3-0.5 mm wide, the lower ones lacking or reduced to scales.
Spikes solitary, with both female and male flowers, the few male flowers towards the tips, the spikes broadly egg-shaped, 10-15 mm long, 6-10 mm wide, erect; bractless.
Perigynia egg-shaped, 4.5-5 mm long, 1.8-2.3 mm wide, straw-coloured or brown, inflated, smooth, shiny, membranaceous, nerveless, short-stalked, the beaks short, bidentate; female scales egg-shaped, usually slightly shorter than the perigynia, sharp-pointed or awned, reddish-brown, brown or straw-coloured, the centres lighter, the margins translucent; stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, 1.2-1.5 mm long.
Further study may indicate that this species is better treated as a variety of C. breweri.

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 engelmannii

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)
1532 1430 1600
Slope Gradient (%)
2 0 7

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

177 123 223
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 4 4
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

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


Habitat and Range

Moist to dry meadows and talus slopes in the upper subalpine and alpine zones; locally frequent in SC BC; S to CO, UT, NV and CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Carex breweri Boott
Carex breweri var. paddoensis (Suksd.) Cronquist