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

Introduction to Vascular Plants


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E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Carex gmelinii
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Species Information

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.

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 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
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

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


Habitat and Range

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

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia