Trichophorum cespitosum (L.) Hartm.
tufted clubrush
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Ian Cumming     (Photo ID #3577)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Trichophorum cespitosum
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial, densely tufted herb from fibrous roots, sometimes from short, freely rooting rhizomes that connect the tufts; stems quite circular in cross-section, tapered, smooth, 10-40 cm tall.
More or less reduced, scalelike, light brown at the base of the stem with a single, more normally-developed leaf a little above the base, this leaf with typical sheath, but somewhat abnormal blade; sheaths straw-coloured to brownish, not cross-wrinkled; blades slender, short, 4-6 mm long.
Spikes solitary, terminal, medium to light brown, 4-6 mm long, 2- to 4-flowered; involucral bracts lacking.
Scales 2 or 3, yellowish-brown, egg-shaped, pointed to minutely abruptly sharp-pointed, empty at the base of the spikes (these often deciduous as the spikes approach maturity), the lowermost of these scales about as long as the spikes, with prominent, broad, blunt-tipped awns, 1-3 mm long and sometimes shortly surpassing the spikes; perianth bristles 6, white, or brownish near the tips, very fragile, hairlike, usually surpassing the achenes, but scarcely if at all, surpassing the scales; achenes brown, 3-angled, narrowly egg-shaped, about 1.5 mm long, abruptly sharp-pointed.

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 Trichophorum cespitosum

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)
833 6 2380
Slope Gradient (%)
5 0 56

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

354 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
6 0 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

AT(1), BWBS(7), CMA(4), CWH(141), ESSF(89), ICH(36), IDF(1), IMA(2), MH(32), MS(10), SBS(17), SWB(5)

Habitat and Range

Bogs, fens and wet meadows in all vegetation zones; frequent throughout BC; circumboreal, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to ME, MA, NC, GA, TN, MN, CO, ID and OR; Greenland, Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Baeothryon caespitosum (L.) A. Dietr., orth. var.
Baeothryon cespitosum (L.) A. Dietr.
Scirpus caespitosus L., orth. var.
Scirpus caespitosus var. austriacus (Pall.) Asch. & Graebn., orth. var.
Scirpus caespitosus var. callosus Bigelow, orth. var.
Scirpus caespitosus var. delicatulus Fernald, orth. var.
Scirpus cespitosus L.
Scirpus cespitosus var. austriacus (Pall.) Asch. & Graebn.
Scirpus cespitosus var. callosus Bigelow
Scirpus cespitosus var. delicatulus Fernald
Trichophorum caespitosum (L.) Hartm., orth. var.
Trichophorum caespitosum var. callosum (Bigelow) Mohlenbr., orth. var.
Trichophorum cespitosum subsp. cespitosum