Carex pauciflora Lightf.
few-flowered sedge (fewflower sedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Adolf Ceska     (Photo ID #20951)


E-Flora BC Static Map

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

Species Information

Perennial herb from slender rhizomes; stems solitary, arising singly or a few together, stiff, erect, 10-60 cm tall, longer than the leaves.
Sheaths brownish, tight; blades 1 to 3, flat or channeled, 0.5-1.8 mm wide, smooth or sometimes with roughened margins, ascending, the tips long-pointed.
Spikes solitary, 0.5-1.5 cm long, 0.5-1.2 mm wide, with both female and male flowers, the few erect male flowers towards the tips, the lower 1 to 6 flowers female; bractless.
Perigynia few, narrowly lanceolate, 6-7.5 mm long, 1-1.5 mm wide, pale green, becoming brownish-green or straw-coloured, soon reflexed, nearly round in cross-section, membranaceous, smooth, finely-nerved, unstalked, the beaks not differentiated from the bodies; female scales lanceolate, short-awned, as wide as or slightly wider and shorter than the perigynia, brownish, early deciduous, with greener midstripes, the margins often translucent; stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, 1.5-2.5 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 pauciflora

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)
909 20 2260
Slope Gradient (%)
2 0 56

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

73 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
6 1 8
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(17), CDF(4), CWH(56), ESSF(75), ICH(56), IDF(3), MH(10), MS(7), SBPS(3), SBS(80), SWB(3)

Habitat and Range

Bogs and fens in the lowland, montane and subalpine zones; common along the coast and in EC BC, less frequent elsewhere; circumpolar, N to AK and YT, E to NF and S to ME, MA, WV, IN, WI, MN, and NW WA; Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Taxonomic Notes

View a video on identification of Carex pauciflora by Tony Reznicek, University of Michigan.