Plant Data Sheet



Beaked Sedge, Carex rostrata  



Alaska to Greenland south to Delaware and west to Kansas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California; also Scandanavia, Iceland, and Eurasia (


Climate, elevation

The climate is often cool and semiarid, with a mean annual precipitation of 12 inches (300 mm) ( Low to mid-elevation (Pojar and Mackinnon, 1994) 


Local occurrence (where, how common)

Very common in perennially wet areas (Pojar and Mackinnon, 1994)


Habitat preferences

Most common in wet meadows, marshes, edges of lakes, ponds, and streams, and other riparian areas (grows best on gentle slopes.) Adapted to a variety of mineral and organic soils with a  pH tolerance range of 3.0-7.9.  Grows in areas where water is up to 32" below the soil surface, as well as areas with standing water to 39" deep. Common in recently formed beaver ponds and on sites with a high water table. (


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

Facultative Seral Species (  Beaked sedge is a frost-tolerant, prolific seeder and is usually dominant or codominant where it occurs.  It has climax ecological status on wet sites of the Cascade Range. Beaked sedge communities have little species diversity, and invasion is limited by the dense rhizome network. Often succeeded by willows (Salix spp.), rushes (Juncus spp.), and reed grasses (Calamagrostis spp.) (


Associated species

Other common names include: Inflated sedge and Retrose sedge

Also known as Carex exsiccata, Carex vesicaria, Carex retrorsa, and Carex rostrata var. ambigens (Pojar and Mackinnon


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



Collection restrictions or guidelines

Shoots emerge between July and August but may also emerge in the fall. Flora primordia develop in August or September.


Seed germination (needs dormancy breaking?)

Flowers May-August


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


Recommended seed storage conditions


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

By division.


Soil or medium requirements (inoculum necessary?)


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


Recommended planting density


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


Normal rate of growth or spread; lifespan

Begins producing new green leaves in early spring; growth at this time is rapid. There is a decrease in root biomass, and most energy is allocated to height increment. In July, when almost at its full height, energy allocation is shifted to shoot production. Lifespan is 2-6 years (


Sources cited

Pojar, Jim and Andrew 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.


Data compiled by (student name and date)

Lara Johnson, April 8th, 2003