Carex nardina Fr.
spikenard sedge (spike sedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Ryan Batten     (Photo ID #53131)


E-Flora BC Static Map

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

Species Information

Perennial, densely tufted herb from fibrous roots; stems 2-15 cm tall, shorter than to slightly longer than the leaves.
Sheaths conspicuous, persistent, blunt at the mouths; blades 1 to 2 per stem, stiff, wire-like, persistent, borne on the lower 1/4 of the stem, about 0.5 mm wide.
Spikes solitary, cylindrical to egg-shaped, 5-15 mm long, erect, with both female and male flowers, the male flowers towards the tips; bractless.
Perigynia lanceolate to egg-shaped, 3.5-4.5 mm long, 1.2-2 mm wide, plano-convex, smooth, faintly nerved, finely toothed above, short-stalked, the beaks short, bidentate; female scales egg-shaped, about equalling the perigynia, sharp-pointed or rounded or the lowest ones awned, brownish, the midribs pale, the margins translucent; stigmas 2 or 3; achenes lens-shaped or 3-angled, about 2.5 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 nardina

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)
2093 39 2680
Slope Gradient (%)
25 0 100

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

220 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 0 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(62), BAFA(33), BWBS(1), CMA(6), ESSF(55), IDF(2), IMA(32), MH(1), MS(2), SWB(5)

Habitat and Range

Dry fellfields, ridgecrests, rock outcrops, meadows and scree slopes in the alpine zone; frequent in and E of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, rare on Vancouver Island; N to AK, YT and NT, E to AB and S to CO, UT, NV and CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia