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

Carex praegracilis W. Boott
field sedge (clustered field sedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #5663)

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Distribution of Carex praegracilis
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from stout, creeping, dark rhizomes; stems 30-75 cm tall, arising singly or a few together, longer than the leaves.
Sheaths green, the lower ones bladeless, persisting, darkened; blades 2 to 5 per stem, crowded toward the base, flat or nearly so, 1-3 mm wide.
Spikes 6 to 15, clustered into a cylindrical or egg-shaped, 1- to 5-cm long head, the spikes 0.7-1 cm long, short-stalked, with both female and male flowers (sometimes with nearly all male flowers or nearly all female flowers), the male flowers towards the tips; bracts 1 to 3, up to 3 cm long, like the scales.
Perigynia egg-shaped to narrowly egg-shaped, 3-4 mm long, 1.3-1.5 mm wide, appressed-ascending, light to dark brown, biconvex, smooth, few- to several-nerved below, short-stalked, the beaks bidentate, finely-toothed, 0.6-1.3 mm long; female scales egg-shaped, as long as and slightly wider than the perigynia, awn-tipped, straw-coloured to light brown or rarely dark brown, the midribs pale, the margins translucent; stigmas 2; achenes lens-shaped, smooth, 1.2-1.7 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

Moist to wet, often alkaline, meadows in the steppe and montane zones; common in SC and SE BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, rare northward; N to AK and SW YT, E to S PQ and S to MA, PA, VA, KY, MO, OK, NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Carex praegracilis

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) 39 1018 2122
Slope Gradient (%) 0 7 80
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 190 356
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: BG(15), CWH(20), ESSF(19), ICH(2), IDF(78), IMA(1), MH(1), MS(11), PP(5), SBPS(23), SBS(15), SWB(1)


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 camporum Mack.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References