Carex lyngbyei; Lyngbyei's sedge



 Greenland; B.C.; Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington; Europe (Iceland).


Climate, elevation

Regularly flooded and drained coastal sedge areas; Optimum elevation is MLHW to MHHW; May be competitively dominant in the high marsh because its greater biomass and height make it a superior competitor for light.


Local occurrence (where, how common)

Most common shoreline sedge in PNW


Habitat preferences

Coastal salt marshes, brackish marshes; Salinity 0-20 ppt.; Best when planted in fine-grained sand to silt, but does well on cobble and gravel beaches.


Plant strategy type/successional stage (stress-tolerator, competitor, weedy/colonizer, seral, late successional)

Pioneer colonizer of tidal mudflats; dense, nearly pure stands.


Associated species

Eleocharis kamtschatica, E. palustris, Iris setosa, Juncus balticus, Potentilla pacifica, Deschampsia caespitosa.


May be collected as: (seed, layered, divisions, etc.)

Division (optimal method). Also, seeds and rhizome cuttings.


Collection restrictions or guidelines

Flowers April-July. Do not transplant in soils with higher salinity than that of donor site.


Seed germination (needs dormancy breaking?)

Germination only occurred in low-salinity conditions following after-ripening. Germination time varies with salinity.


Seed life (can be stored, short shelf-life, long shelf-life)

No information found.


Recommended seed storage conditions

No information found.


Propagation recommendations (plant seeds, vegetative parts, cuttings, etc.)

Planting bare rootstock is the most successful means of propagating these plants. Young plants are the best transplanting candidates. Plant on overcast days to minimize desiccation. Can be grown from seed, either planted directly or grown in pots and transplanted. However, neither of these methods is recommended. Rising water levels and heavy rains often wash seeds away. Plants grown from seed in pots tend to remain small and stunted for extended periods of time and are difficult to establish.


Soil or medium requirements (inoculum necessary?)

No requirements, but responds well to fertilizer. 


Installation form (form, potential for successful outcomes, cost)

Large plugs may be better able to survive predation from geese than transplanted sprigs.


Recommended planting density

3 stems per hole on 0.5m (20) centers.


Care requirements after installed (water weekly, water once etc.)

Plants are best planted in the fall when the rains begin. This will enable them to spend the dormant season developing a healthy root system to sustain them through the summer dry season.


Normal rate of growth or spread; lifespan

Mature size to 0.75m (30). Will spread to become montypic species.


Sources cited

Bradfield, G.E. and G.L. Porter. 1982. Vegetation Structure and Diversity Components of a Fraser Estuary Tidal Marsh. Canadian Journal of Botany Vol 60, No 4, p 440-451.

Hutchinson, I. and S.R. Smythe. 1986. The effect of antecedent and ambient salinity levels on seed germination in populations of carex lyngbyei. Northwest-Science. 60 (1): 36-41.

Pidwirny, M. J. 1990. Plant zonation in a brackish tidal marsh descriptive verification of resource-based competition and community structure. Canadian-Journal-of-Botany. 68 (8): 1689-1697.

Pojar, J. and A. MacKinnon. 1994. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast Washington, Oregon British Columbia & Alaska. BC Ministry of Forests and Lone Pine Publishing, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 527 p.

Stevens, M. and R. Vanbianchi. 1993.  Restoring Wetlands in Washington: A Guidebook for Wetland Restoration, Planning and Implementation. Washington State Department of Ecology Publication 93-17, 110 p and Appendices.

Ternyik, W.E. 1980. Salt Marsh Creation in the Pacific Northwest: Criteria, Planting Techniques, and Costs. Rehabilitation and Creation of Selected Coastal Habitats: Proceedings of a Workshop, Sapelo Island, Georgia 16-20 May, 1976. Fish and Wildlife Service, Biological Services Program, Washington, DC., Report FWS/OBS-80/27, p 25-27.


Data compiled by Mike Cooksey; 7 April 2003