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

Carex gmelinii Hook. & Arn.
Gmelin's sedge
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Carex gmelinii
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Species Information

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Perennial, tufted herb from a short stout rhizome; stems 30-50 cm tall, exceeding the leaves.
Sheaths purplish-red towards the bases; blades flat with rolled-under margins, 2-4 mm wide, the lower ones reduced.
Spikes 3 to 6, the terminal spikes with both female and male flowers, the female ones towards the tips, the lower spikes 2 to 5, with female flowers, short-stalked, 0.6-2.5 cm long, erect, the lowermost spikes remote and long-stalked; bracts subtending the spikes short-sheathing, leaflike, about equalling the inflorescence.
Perigynia egg-shaped, 4-5 mm long, 1.8-2 mm wide, green to dark brown, nerved, the beaks short, less than 0.3 mm long; female scales broadly egg-shaped, as long as and wider than the perigynia, pointed and abruptly awned at the tips, reddish-black, roughly pimpled; stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, granular, 1.7-2 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Saline marshes, exposed bluffs and meadows in the lowland zone; rare in coastal BC; amphiberingian, N to AK and YT; E Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Carex gmelinii

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) 2 2 2
Slope Gradient (%) 1 1 1
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
10 10 10
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 2 2
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: CWH(1)


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.

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