Carex pansa L.H. Bailey
sand-dune sedge (sanddune sedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


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E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Carex pansa
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Species Information

Perennial herb from long, creeping rhizomes; stems 5-30 cm tall, arising singly, longer than the leaves.
Sheaths green, the lower ones bladeless, persisting, darkened; blades 3 to 5 per stem, crowded toward the base, flat or channeled at the base, the margins sometimes in-rolled and roughened, 1-3 mm wide.
Spikes 6 to 15, clustered into an egg-shaped, 1.5- to 2.5-cm long head, indistinguishable, 1-1.2 cm long, unstalked, with both female and male flowers (rarely all female flowers), the few male flowers towards the tips; bracts of the spikes inconspicuous and much like the scales.
Perigynia egg-shaped, 3-4.5 mm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, appressed to ascending, yellowish-brown or brownish-black, biconvex, smooth, few to several nerved below, short-stalked, the beaks bidentate, finely-toothed, about 1 mm long; female scales egg-shaped, as long as and slightly wider than the perigynia, awn-tipped, light to dark brown, the margins translucent; stigmas 2; achenes lens-shaped, smooth, 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 pansa

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)
631 430 800
Slope Gradient (%)
5 0 15

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

270 270 270
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
7 7 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

BWBS(1), MH(1), SBS(1)

Habitat and Range

Sandy beaches, dunes and rocky shores in the lowland zone; rare on the Queen Charlotte Islands, Vancouver Island and Hornby Island; S to CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Carex arenicola F. Schmidt
Carex arenicola subsp. pansa (L.H. Bailey) T. Koyama & Calder