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.
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.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
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)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
View a video on identification of Carex pauciflora by Tony Reznicek, University of Michigan.