Carex tenuiflora Wahlenb.
sparse-flowered sedge (sparseflower sedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Ryan Batten     (Photo ID #53151)


E-Flora BC Static Map

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

Species Information

Perennial, loosely tufted herb from long rhizomes; stems 15-60 cm tall, longer than the leaves.
Sheaths tight; blades 3 to 7, borne on the lower part of the stem, 0.5-2 mm wide, flat or channeled.
Spikes 3 to 5 in a terminal head, egg-shaped, many-flowered, 5-10 mm long, ascending, with both female and male flowers, the female flowers towards the tips, the male flowers inconspicuous; all bracts strongly reduced.
Perigynia elliptical, elongated, 3-3.5 mm long, 0.8-1.3 mm wide, greenish-white, minutely whitish-dotted, plano-convex, smooth, faintly nerved, unstalked; female scales egg-shaped, covering the perigynia, blunt, light green, with green midribs; stigmas 2; achenes lens-shaped, 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 tenuiflora

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)
989 326 1650
Slope Gradient (%)
0 0 5

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

282 90 350
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
6 3 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(13), ESSF(9), ICH(14), IDF(4), MS(17), SBPS(11), SBS(63)

Habitat and Range

Fens, bogs and moist forests in the montane zone; infrequent in BC east of the Coast Mountains and N of 52degreeN; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to ME, MA, NY, MI, MN, NM and WA; Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia