Plant Data Sheet


Species (common name, Latin name)

Sawbeak sedge, Carex stipata



Worldwide; in lowland to midmontane moist soils.


Climate, elevation

Lowland to midmontane (Cooke)


Local occurrence (where, how common)

Common along western Washington, north through British Columbia (Pojar)


Habitat preferences

Disturbed wet meadows, shores, stream banks and swamps. Requires full sun, grows as scattered individuals (Cooke)


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

Adapted to fine to medium textured soils with a high tolerance for anaerobic conditions, Disturbed sites (Cooke) (Vegspec)


Associated species

Carex spp., Salix spp., Cornus spp., Juncus spp., Scirpus spp. (Wetland)


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

Seed, rhizome, division (Leigh)


Collection restrictions or guidelines

Blooms late May through August (Cooke), low seed/fruit availability (Vegspec)


Seed germination (needs dormancy breaking?)

No cold stratification required, wet stratification (Rose) (Vegspec)


Recommended seed storage conditions

Keep wet outdoors for natural stratification or stratify wet in refrigerator (Rose)


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

Grown from seed, by sowing in the fall, either on site or in trays after overwintering. Collect in June to July, remove seed from seedhead. Rhizome cuttings can be propagated easily. Also multiplied by division. (Leigh) (Rose)


Soil or medium requirements (inoculum necessary?)

(Based on other Carex spp.) After stratifying wet in refrigerator, sow in February in potting soil and place in hoop house (Rose)


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

10in3 plug, $0.75 (Sound Native Plant)


Recommended planting density

2700-4800 per acre (Vegspec)


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

Moist to inundated soil (Rose)


Normal rate of growth or spread; lifespan

3.5 at maturity, moderate (Vegspec)


Sources cited


Cooke, Sarah. A Field Guide to the Common Wetland Plants of Western Washington and Northern Oregon. Seattle Audubon Society, Washington Native Plant Society. May 1997.


Leigh, Michael. Grow Your Own Native Landscape. Native Plant Salvage Project, WSU Cooperative Extension-Thurston County. Revised ed. June 1999.


Pojar, Jim and Andy MacKinnon. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast-Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Alaska. B.C. Minisrty of Forest and Lone Pine Publishing. 1994.


Rose, Robin, Caryn Chachulski, and Diane Haase. Propagation of Pacific Norhtwest Native Plants. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, OR. 1998.


Sound Native Plants, May 1, 2003.


VegSpec. Phil Smith, Project Manager., USDA, Natural Resource Conservation Service. May 1, 2003.


Wetland Plants, May 1, 2003.


Data compiled by (student name and date)

Scott Olmsted; 042803