E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Carex viridula Michx.
Greenish Sedge (green sedge; little green sedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #25729)

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Distribution of Carex viridula
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Carex viridula ssp. viridula

Species Information

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Perennial, densely tufted herb from fibrous roots; stems 10-40 cm tall, longer than the leaves.
Sheaths pale below; blades 4 to 8 per stem, channeled, borne on the lower 1/2 of the stem, 1-3 mm wide, the lower ones reduced.
Spikes 3 to 7, the terminal unstalked or short-stalked, linear, 7-21 mm long, with male flowers (rarely some female flowers), the lower spikes 2 to 6, erect, cylindrical, 5-11 mm long, many-flowered, with female flowers (sometimes the upper with male flowers at the tips), unstalked or nearly so; bracts subtending the female spikes conspicuous, leaflike, 4-9 cm long, much exceeding the inflorescence, the sheaths 2-20 mm long, the upper bracts shorter.
Perigynia egg-shaped to elliptical, mostly spreading, 2-3.2 mm long, 1.2-1.3 mm wide, yellowish-green to green, smooth, several-nerved, the beaks shortly bidentate, about 1/3 as long as the bodies of the perigynia; female scales egg-shaped, pointed, short-awned at the tips, shorter than the perigynia, reddish, with greenish midribs and narrow translucent margins; stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, smooth, 1.4-1.9 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

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

Habitat / Range

Swamps, bogs, lakeshores and wet meadows in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common in S BC, less frequent northward; amphiberingian, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to ME, MA, PA, OH, IN, IL, MN, SD, NM, UT, NV and CA; E Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Carex viridula

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) 0 779 1680
Slope Gradient (%) 0 2 70
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 139 295
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 6 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BWBS(1), CDF(4), CWH(32), ESSF(5), ICH(6), IDF(9), MS(7), SBPS(1), SBS(3)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Carex viridula var. viridula Michx. [superfluous autonym]

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References