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

Carex bebbii Olney ex Fernald
Bebb's sedge
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #5688)

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Distribution of Carex bebbii
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Species Information

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Perennial, tufted herb from fibrous roots; stems 20-80 cm tall, exceeding the leaves.
Sheaths tight; blades flat, 2-4.5 mm wide, borne on the lower 1/3 of the stem.
Spikes 4 to 12, aggregated into a 1- to 3-cm long egg-shaped to cylindrical head, unstalked, with both female and male flowers, the female ones towards the tips; bracts subtending the spikes sheathless, reduced, inconspicuous or the lowest bristlelike.
Perigynia egg-shaped, 3-3.5 mm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, dull green to brownish, more or less flattened, the margins winged nearly to the bases, the upper 1/2 fringed with teeth, lightly several-nerved on both sides or nerveless below, the beaks bidentate, less than 1 mm long, narrowly margined and toothed below; female scales elliptical, brownish, with translucent margins, somewhat shorter and narrower than the perigynia; stigmas 2; achenes lens-shaped, about 1 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

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

Habitat / Range

Wet meadows and streamsides in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common in mainland BC south of 57degreeN, rare northward, absent from Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands; N to AK and NT, E to NF and S to ME, MA, PA, OH, IN, IL, IA, NE, CO, UT, NV and OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Carex bebbii

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) 160 1115 1810
Slope Gradient (%) 0 13 70
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
40 141 220
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 5 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: CWH(1), ESSF(5), ICH(4), IDF(1), MS(2), SBPS(1), SBS(2)


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 montane boreal & cool temperate.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References