Carex garberi subsp. bifaria Fernald (Fernald) Hulten
Garber's sedge
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


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E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Carex garberi subsp. bifaria
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Species Information

Perennial, loosely tufted herb from long rhizomes; stems 5-60 cm tall, longer than the leaves.
Sheaths tight; blades 3 to 6 per stem, flat, borne on the lower 1/3 of the stem, 2-4 mm wide, the lower ones reduced.
Spikes 3 to 5, 4-10 mm long, the terminal spike entirely with male flowers or with a few female flowers at the the top, the lateral spikes 2 to 4, with female flowers, short-stalked; bracts subtending the female spikes short-sheathing, leaflike, the lowermost equalling or slightly surpassing the inflorescence.
Perigynia globe-shaped, 2-3 mm wide, inflated, bluish-grey-green, obscurely nerved, with a powdery surface, beakless; female scales egg-shaped and pointed to rounded at the tips, slightly shorter and narrower than the perigynia, reddish-brown, with greenish midribs and translucent margins; stigmas 2; achenes lens-shaped, 1.2-1.5 mm long.
Two subspecies (sometimes treated as separate species) can be distinguished:

1. Terminal spike usually with female flowers above the male flowers with at least 1/4 of the flowers female and the male portion 1.2-2.7 mm wide; lateral spikes on average with less than 20 flowers................. ssp. garberi

1. Terminal spike male, rarely with a few female flowers at the tip, 1.8-3 mm wide; lateral spikes on average with 20 or more flowers...................... ssp. bifaria (Fern.) Hult.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat and Range

Wet meadows, shorelines and seepage sites in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; infrequent on Vancouver Island (ssp. bifaria), frequent E of the Coast-Cascade Mountains (ssp. garberi); N to AK, YT, and NT, E to PQ, NB and NS, and S to ME, NH, PA, OH, IN, IL, MN, ND, MT and CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Carex hassei L.H. Bailey