Carex buxbaumii - Wahlenb.
Buxbaum's Sedge
Other English Common Names: Brown Bog Sedge
Other Common Names: Buxbaum's sedge
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Carex buxbaumii Wahlenb. (TSN 39452)
French Common Names: carex de Buxbaum
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.144092
Element Code: PMCYP032B0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Sedge Family
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Cyperaceae Carex
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Carex buxbaumii
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 16May2016
Global Status Last Changed: 24Feb1984
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Carex buxbaumii is widespread and circumboreal, occurring throughout Canada and south to California, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Georgia (?).
Nation: United States
National Status: N4N5
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5 (01Mar2012)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alaska (SNR), Arkansas (S1), California (S3), Colorado (SNR), Connecticut (S1), Delaware (S1), District of Columbia (SH), Georgia (SH), Idaho (S3), Illinois (S3?), Indiana (SNR), Iowa (S4), Kansas (S1), Kentucky (S1), Maine (SNR), Maryland (S2), Massachusetts (S2?), Michigan (SNR), Minnesota (SNR), Missouri (S2), Montana (S4), Nebraska (S2), Nevada (SNR), New Hampshire (S1), New Jersey (S3), New York (S2), North Carolina (S2), North Dakota (S1S2), Ohio (SNR), Oklahoma (SNR), Oregon (SNR), Pennsylvania (S3), Rhode Island (SU), Tennessee (S1), Utah (SNR), Vermont (S1), Virginia (S2), Washington (S3), West Virginia (S2), Wisconsin (SNR), Wyoming (S2)
Canada Alberta (S3), British Columbia (S4), Labrador (S3), Manitoba (S4S5), New Brunswick (S4), Newfoundland Island (S3S5), Northwest Territories (SNR), Nova Scotia (S4), Ontario (S5), Quebec (S4S5), Saskatchewan (S2), Yukon Territory (S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Circumboreal; in North America, Newfoundland to Alaska, south to North Carolina (listed for Georgia by Russell and Duncan 1972, but currently ranked historically by Georgia Heritage Program), Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California.

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Population Size Comments: S1 or S2 in most states that have ranked it.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Land-use conversion, habitat fragmentation, and bog succession are low-level threats to this species (Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project 2002).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Global Range: Circumboreal; in North America, Newfoundland to Alaska, south to North Carolina (listed for Georgia by Russell and Duncan 1972, but currently ranked historically by Georgia Heritage Program), Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, AR, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, TN, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
Canada AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, NT, ON, QC, SK, YT

Range Map
No map available.

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AR Benton (05007)
CT Litchfield (09005), Middlesex (09007), New Haven (09009)
GA Bartow (13015)*
KS Stafford (20185)
KY Ballard (21007)*, Boone (21015)*, Clinton (21053), Lewis (21135)
MA Essex (25009), Franklin (25011), Hampden (25013), Hampshire (25015), Middlesex (25017), Norfolk (25021), Worcester (25027)
MD Carroll (24013), Cecil (24015)*, Garrett (24023), Harford (24025)*, Montgomery (24031), Prince Georges (24033), St. Marys (24037)
MO Buchanan (29021)*, Butler (29023)*, Caldwell (29025)*, Camden (29029), Carter (29035)*, Clay (29047)*, Clinton (29049)*, DeKalb (29063)*, Dent (29065), Dunklin (29069)*, Howell (29091), Iron (29093), Jackson (29095)*, Lafayette (29107)*, Linn (29115)*, Macon (29121), Marion (29127)*, Monroe (29137)*, Nodaway (29147), Platte (29165)*, Ralls (29173)*, Ray (29177)*, Reynolds (29179), Ripley (29181)*, Shannon (29203), Shelby (29205)*, St. Clair (29185), Stoddard (29207), Wayne (29223)*
NC Alleghany (37005), Ashe (37009), Avery (37011), Forsyth (37067)*, Henderson (37089), Watauga (37189), Yancey (37199)*
ND Barnes (38003)*, Griggs (38039)*, Steele (38091)*, Stutsman (38093)*
NE Antelope (31003)*, Cherry (31031), Garfield (31071), Holt (31089), Howard (31093), Keya Paha (31103), Rock (31149)
NH Coos (33007)
NJ Essex (34013)*, Mercer (34021)*, Morris (34027)*, Somerset (34035)*, Sussex (34037), Union (34039)*, Warren (34041)*
NY Albany (36001)*, Columbia (36021), Dutchess (36027)*, Kings (36047)*, Lewis (36049), Livingston (36051), Monroe (36055), Nassau (36059)*, Queens (36081)*, Rensselaer (36083)*, Saratoga (36091)*, Schenectady (36093), Seneca (36099), St. Lawrence (36089), Suffolk (36103), Warren (36113)
PA Adams (42001), Allegheny (42003)*, Bedford (42009), Berks (42011)*, Blair (42013), Bucks (42017), Butler (42019), Chester (42029), Crawford (42039), Franklin (42055), Fulton (42057)*, Huntingdon (42061), Lancaster (42071)*, Lawrence (42073), Lehigh (42077), Lycoming (42081)*, Monroe (42089), Montgomery (42091), Northampton (42095)*, Snyder (42109)
TN Bledsoe (47007), Coffee (47031), Cumberland (47035), Robertson (47147)
VA Augusta (51015), Bath (51017), Caroline (51033), Fauquier (51061), Floyd (51063)*, Giles (51071), Goochland (51075), Grayson (51077), Madison (51113), Nelson (51125), Prince William (51153), Rockingham (51165), Sussex (51183)*
VT Addison (50001), Orleans (50019), Rutland (50021)*
WV Barbour (54001), Grant (54023), Hampshire (54027), Hardy (54031)*, Jefferson (54037), Tyler (54095)
WY Park (56029), Teton (56039), Uinta (56041)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Upper Connecticut (01080101)+, Passumpsic (01080102)+, Middle Connecticut (01080201)+, Lower Connecticut (01080205)+, Charles (01090001)+, Quinnipiac (01100004)+, Housatonic (01100005)+
02 Upper Hudson (02020001)+, Hudson-Hoosic (02020003)+*, Mohawk (02020004)+, Middle Hudson (02020006)+, Rondout (02020007)+, Hudson-Wappinger (02020008)+*, Bronx (02030102)+*, Hackensack-Passaic (02030103)+*, Sandy Hook-Staten Island (02030104)+*, Raritan (02030105)+*, Northern Long Island (02030201)+*, Southern Long Island (02030202)+, Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead (02040104)+, Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105)+, Lehigh (02040106)+, Crosswicks-Neshaminy (02040201)+*, Schuylkill (02040203)+, Lower West Branch Susquehanna (02050206)+*, Lower Susquehanna-Penns (02050301)+, Upper Juniata (02050302)+, Raystown (02050303)+, Lower Susquehanna-Swatara (02050305)+, Lower Susquehanna (02050306)+, Chester-Sassafras (02060002)+*, Gunpowder-Patapsco (02060003)+, Patuxent (02060006)+*, North Branch Potomac (02070002)+, Cacapon-Town (02070003)+, Conococheague-Opequon (02070004)+*, South Fork Shenandoah (02070005)+, Shenandoah (02070007)+, Middle Potomac-Catoctin (02070008)+, Monocacy (02070009)+, Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan (02070010)+, Lower Potomac (02070011)+, Rapidan-Upper Rappahannock (02080103)+, Mattaponi (02080105)+, Maury (02080202)+, Middle James-Buffalo (02080203)+, Middle James-Willis (02080205)+
03 Nottoway (03010201)+*, Upper Yadkin (03040101)+*, Coosawattee (03150102)+*, Oostanaula (03150103)+*, Etowah (03150104)+*
04 Upper Genesee (04130002)+, Irondequoit-Ninemile (04140101)+, Seneca (04140201)+, Black (04150101)+, Upper St. Lawrence (04150301)+, Indian (04150303)+, St. Regis (04150306)+, Otter Creek (04150402)+, Lake Champlain (04150408)+, St. Francois River (04150500)+
05 French (05010004)+, Tygart Valley (05020001)+, Lower Monongahela (05020005)+*, Youghiogheny (05020006)+, Shenango (05030102)+*, Connoquenessing (05030105)+, Little Muskingum-Middle Island (05030201)+, Upper New (05050001)+, Middle New (05050002)+, Ohio Brush-Whiteoak (05090201)+, Middle Ohio-Laughery (05090203)+*, Obey (05130105)+, Caney (05130108)+, Red (05130206)+, Lower Ohio (05140206)+*
06 Upper French Broad (06010105)+, Nolichucky (06010108)+, Emory (06010208)+, Upper Duck (06040002)+
07 The Sny (07110004)+*, North Fork Salt (07110005)+*, Salt (07110007)+*, Meramec (07140102)+
08 Lower Mississippi-Memphis (08010100)+*, Upper St. Francis (08020202)+*, Lower St. Francis (08020203)+, Cache (08020302)+*
09 Middle Sheyenne (09020203)+*, Maple (09020205)+*
10 Madison (10020007)+, Yellowstone Headwaters (10070001)+, Clarks Fork Yellowstone (10070006)+, Apple (10130103)+*, Middle Niobrara (10150004)+, Keya Paha (10150006)+, Lower Middle Loup (10210003)+, Calamus (10210008)+, Cedar (10210010)+, Upper Elkhorn (10220001)+, North Fork Elkhorn (10220002)+*, Platte (10240012)+*, One Hundred and Two (10240013)+, Upper Grand (10280101)+*, Lower Grand (10280103)+*, Lower Chariton (10280202)+, Harry S. Missouri (10290105)+, Lake of the Ozarks (10290109)+, Lower Missouri-Crooked (10300101)+*
11 North Fork White (11010006)+, Upper Black (11010007)+, Current (11010008)+, Spring (11010010)+, Rattlesnake (11030009)+, Illinois (11110103)+
14 Blacks Fork (14040107)+
17 Snake headwaters (17040101)+, Greys-Hobock (17040103)+, Upper Henrys (17040202)+, Teton (17040204)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Basic Description: Perennial, erect, tufted sedge with stout, nearly stemless spikes and narrow leaves.
General Description: Brown Bog Sedge is a loosely clumped grass-like perennial that grows in patches. The bases of the plants are purplish-red tinged. Leaves are strap-like, 2.0-3.5 mm wide, and light-green. Stems are 25-75 cm long and are terminated by one flower/fruit cluster (spike). This terminal spike has female flowers above and male flowers below. Also towards the apex of the stem are 2-4 cylindrical spikes composed entirely of female flowers. These spikes are on short, erect, secondary stems that attach to the main stem. The female flowers mature into fruit (perigynia) which are 2.5-4.0 mm long (Mackenzie 1931-1935, Murray 2002).
Technical Description: Stems 3-10 dm, arising singly or few together from long creeping rhizomes, strongly aphyllopodic, not surrounded by old sheaths from previous years (but these often persistent separately from the new stems); leaves elongate, 2-4 mm wide; spikes mostly 2-5, approximate or somewhat remote, erect or closely ascending, sessile or (especially the lower) with more or less well developed peduncle, the terminal one gynaecandrous, 1-3 cm, the lateral ones pistillate, about as long or somewhat shorter; bract subtending the lowest spike sheathless or nearly so, shorter to longer than the inflorescence; pistillate scales lanceolate to lance-ovate, brown to purplish-black with a usually paler midrib, surpassing the perigynia, tapering to an awn-tip 0.5-3 mm; perigynia 2.7-4.3 mm, beakless or very shortly beaked, rather narrowly elliptic to elliptic-obovate or elliptic-ovate, firm-walled, not strongly papillate, light gray-green, densely papillate, 2-ribbed and with 6-8 inconspicuous or obscure nerves on each face; achene trigonous, somewhat narrower and much shorter than the perigynial cavity. 2n = 74, ca. 100, 106. (Gleason and Cronquist 1991)
Diagnostic Characteristics: Uppermost spike (at least usually) both pistillate and staminate (the similar C. limosa spike is entirely staminate); strongly bicolored pistillate scales; spikes sessile or with short pedicel; glaucous foliage. Within Section Atratae: pistillate spikes mostly sessile or nearly so (C. atratiformis has the pistillate spikes on slender peduncles 1-4 cm); stems of the season aphyllopodic, not surrounded by dried sheaths of previous years (although these may be present on old stems), perigynia densely and conspicuously papillate (C. norvegica and C. parryana have stems of the season phyllopodic or somewhat aphyllopodic, surrounded by the dried sheaths of previous years, perigynia not notable papillate) (Gleason and Cronquist 1991).
Reproduction Comments: Lower spikelets are pistillate, uppermost one is gynecandrous (Fernald 1950, Gleason and Cronquist 1991) or androgynecandrous (Radford et al. 1968) or staminate throughout (Fernald 1950). Spreads by long rhizomes. All Cyperaceae except Dichromena are wind-pollinated. The inflated perigynium allows Carex seeds to float for long periods of time (2 days to over 12 months, depending on the species), and various species are also dispersed by ants, birds, and mammals (Ridley 1930).
Ecology Comments: "In sun or semi-shade" (unpubl. TNC material from Ohio); also see habitat description.
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, FORESTED WETLAND, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Bare rock/talus/scree, Forest - Hardwood, Forest/Woodland, Grassland/herbaceous
Habitat Comments: Found in a variety of wet places; most commonly listed habitats are bogs and wet meadows. Others include fens, marshes, wet shores, swamps, "marly bogs and marshes", prairie swales, wet river bottom prairie, alluvial meadows, and springs. (Correll & Correll 1972, Fernald 1950, Gleason & Cronquist 1991, Hough 1983, Lakela 1965, Larson 1993, Radford et al. 1968, Steyermark 1963, Voss 1972). Seldom-listed habitats: rocky places along the Lake Superior shore (Lakela 1965, Voss 1972), swampy or wet woods (Naczi & Bryson 1990, Steyermark 1963), and aspen groves (Weber 1990). In Ohio: "moist situations in sun or semi-shade, usually in calcareous or neutral substrates; wet prairies, fens, swamp woods, pastures, meadows, ditches; rarely on rock exposures" (unpublished material in TNC files).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 22Feb1995
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: M.E. Stover, TNC-HO, rev. D. Gries (1998)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 22Feb1995
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): M.E. STOVER, TNC-HO

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

  • Correll, D.S., and H.B. Correll. 1972. Aquatic and wetland plants of southwestern United States. 2 volumes. Stanford Univ. Press, Stanford, California. 1777 pp.

  • Fernald, M. L. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. 8th edition. Corrected printing (1970). D. Van Nostrand Company, New York. 1632 pp.

  • Fernald, M.L. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. 8th edition. D. Van Nostrand, New York. 1632 pp.

  • Gleason, H.A., and A. Cronquist. 1963. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. D. Van Nostrand Company, New York, NY. 810 pp.

  • Gleason, H.A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Holmgren, Noel. 1998. The Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

  • Hough, M.Y. 1983. New Jersey wild plants. Harmony Press, Harmony, NJ. 414 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Lakela, O. 1965. A Flora of Northeastern Minnesota. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 541 pp.

  • Larson, G.E. 1993. Aquatic and wetland vascular plants of the Northern Great Plains. USDA Forest Service, General Technical Report RM-238; Washington, D.C.

  • Mackenzie, K.K. 1931-1935. Cariceae. North American Flora 18: 1-478.

  • Meades, S.J. & Hay, S.G; Brouillet, L. 2000. Annotated Checklist of Vascular Plants of Newfoundland and Labrador. Memorial University Botanical Gardens, St John's NF. 237pp.

  • Murray, D.F. 2002. Carex Linnaeus sect. Racemosae G. Don. Pages 401-414 in Flora of North America Editorial Committee (editors), Flora of North America, North of Mexico, Volume 23, Magnoliophyta: Commelinidae (in part): Cyperaceae. Oxford University Press, New York, NY, USA. 608pp + xxiv.

  • Naczi, R., and C. Bryson. 1990. Noteworthy records of Carex (Cyperaceae) from the southeastern United States. Bartonia 56: 49-58.

  • New York Natural Heritage Program. 2010. Biotics database. New York Natural Heritage Program. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Albany, NY.

  • Radford, A.E., H.E. Ahles, and C.R. Bell. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Univ. North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 1183 pp.

  • Reschke, Carol. 1990. Ecological communities of New York State. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Latham, NY. 96 pp. plus xi.

  • Ridley, H.N. 1930. The dispersal of plants throughout the world. L. Reeve & Co., Ltd., Ashford, Kent, United Kingdom. 744 pp.

  • Russell, G. E. G., and W. H. Duncan. 1972. An annotated checklist of Carex (Cyperaceae) in Georgia. Castanea 37(3): 200-214.

  • Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project. 2002. A partnership between the U.S. Forest Service-Region 8, Natural Heritage Programs in the Southeast, NatureServe, and independent scientists to develop and review data on 1300+ regionally and locally rare species in the Southern Appalachian and Alabama region. Database (Access 97) provided to the U.S. Forest Service by NatureServe, Durham, North Carolina.

  • Steyermark, J.A. 1963. Flora of Missouri. Iowa State Univ. Press, Ames. 1728 pp.

  • Voss, E.G. 1972. Michigan flora: A guide to the identification and occurrence of the native and naturalized seed-plants of the state. Part I. Gymnosperms and monocots. Cranbrook Institute of Science and Univ. Michigan Herbarium. Ann Arbor. 488 pp.

  • Weber, W.A. 1990. Colorado Flora: eastern slope. Univ. Press Colorado, Niwot. 396 pp.

  • Weldy, T. and D. Werier. 2010. New York flora atlas. [S.M. Landry, K.N. Campbell, and L.D. Mabe (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research University of South Florida]. New York Flora Association, Albany, New York

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