Carex rostrata Stokes
swollen beaked sedge (beaked sedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jamie Fenneman     (Photo ID #20453)


E-Flora BC Static Map

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

Species Information

Perennial, tufted herb from short-creeping rhizomes; stems 30-70 cm tall, triangular, smooth, except slightly rough below the inflorescence, slightly longer than the leaves.
Sheaths tight; ligules as long as wide; blades 4 to 8 per stem, borne on the lower 1/2 of the stem, 1.2-4.5 mm wide, folded or channeled, with silica papillae on the upper surface, cross-walled; lower leaves reduced, persistent.
Spikes 3 to 6 (8), the terminal 1 or 2, sometimes 3 or 4, linear, 1.5-5 cm long, long-stalked, with many male flowers, the lower 2 to 4 spikes cylindrical, 3-6.5 cm long, with female flowers, short-stalked, the lowermost ones spreading; bracts subtending the lowest spike leaflike, sheathless, the lowest one longer than the inflorescence.
Perigynia egg-shaped, 5-9 mm long, 1.7-3 mm wide, yellowish-green to reddish-brown, somewhat inflated, smooth, shiny, strongly nerved, rather abruptly contracted into beaks, the beaks 1.5-2 mm long, bidentate, with straight teeth; female scales lanceolate to egg-shaped, pointed, rarely awned, narrower and shorter than the perigynia, yellowish- to chestnut-brown, with lighter centres and narrow, translucent margins; stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, 2.5-3 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.

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Carex rostrata

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)
1089 850 1300
Slope Gradient (%)
0 0 1

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

0 45 135
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
5 4 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

ICH(4), MS(1)

Habitat and Range

Peat bogs in the montane and subalpine zones, rare in BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to MI, IL, MN, MT, ID and WA; Greenland, Iceland, Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Carex ×anticostensis (Fernald) Lepage
Carex ×anticostensis var. inflatior Lepage (pro nm.)
Carex ×anticostensis var. longidens Lepage (pro nm.)
Carex ×anticostensis var. minor Lepage (pro nm.)
Carex grahamii Boott.
Carex mainensis Porter ex Britton
Carex rostrata var. ambigens Fernald
Carex rostrata var. anticostensis Fernald