Carex stipata Muhl. ex Willd.
Awl-fruited Sedge (Lingbye's Sedge; owlfruit sedge; sawbeak sedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Bryan Kelly-McArthur     (Photo ID #85471)


E-Flora BC Static Map

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


Carex stipata var. stipata

Species Information

Perennial, densely tufted herb from short fibrous roots; stems 30-100 cm tall, usually a few together, about equalling the leaves, the lower ones reduced, 3-angled, the angles winged and saw-toothed above.
Sheaths cross-wrinkled; blades 3 to 6 per stem, borne on the lower 1/2, or sometimes the lower 3/4 of the stem, flat, 5-11 mm wide, the lower ones reduced.
Spikes numerous, usually densely aggregated into a cylindrical or egg-shaped, 3- to 10-cm long head, usually more or less separate below, egg-shaped, 2-3.5 cm long, unstalked, with both female and male flowers, the inconspicuous male flowers towards the tips; bracts short, inconspicuous, the lowest one usually hairlike, prolonged, 2-10 cm long.
Perigynia narrowly triangular, 4-5.2 mm long, 1.5-1.8 mm wide, plano-convex, strongly nerved, spreading, yellow to brownish-translucent, smooth, very short-stalked, finely toothed above, the beaks about the length of the bodies, bidentate; female scales egg-shaped, narrower, about the length of the perigynia, brownish-translucent, the midribs greenish and prolonged into awns, the margins translucent; stigmas 2; achenes lens-shaped, 1.5-2 mm long.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Carex stipata

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)
574 207 1750
Slope Gradient (%)
3 0 18

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

300 0 337
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
6 5 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

CWH(4), ESSF(1), ICH(3), PP(2)

Habitat and Range

Swamps, ditches, streambanks, lakeshores and wet meadows in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent in BC S of 56degreeN, rare on the Queen Charlotte Islands; amphiberingian, N to AK, E to NF and S to ME, MA, PA, NC, GA, AL, MS, OK, NM, AZ and OR; E Asia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Taxonomic Notes

View a video on identification of Carex stipata by Tony Reznicek (University of Michigan).