Carex scirpoidea - Michx.
Bulrush Sedge
Other English Common Names: Northern Single-spike Sedge, Scirpus-like Sedge, Single-spike Sedge
Other Common Names: northern singlespike sedge
Synonym(s): Carex scirpiformis Mackenzie
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Carex scirpoidea Michx. (TSN 39799)
French Common Names: carex faux-scirpe
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.144336
Element Code: PMCYP03C80
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Sedge Family
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Cyperaceae Carex
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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 scirpoidea
Taxonomic Comments: Kartesz (1999) treats infraspecies of Carex scirpoidea as subspecies, not varieties (as in various former treatments), with the exception of var. curatorum, which he recognizes as the species Carex curatorum.
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 13May2016
Global Status Last Changed: 29Feb1984
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5 (03Mar2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alaska (SNR), California (SNR), Colorado (S2), Idaho (SNR), Maine (S2), Michigan (S2), Minnesota (S3), Montana (S5), Nevada (SNR), New Hampshire (S2), New Jersey (SNR), New Mexico (S2?), New York (S1), North Dakota (S1S2), Utah (S4), Vermont (S2), Washington (S5), Wyoming (S4)
Canada Alberta (S5), British Columbia (SNR), Labrador (S3S5), Manitoba (S5), New Brunswick (SH), Newfoundland Island (S3S5), Northwest Territories (SNR), Nova Scotia (S2), Nunavut (S4), Ontario (S5), Quebec (S4), Saskatchewan (S4), Yukon Territory (S5)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

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

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, CA, CO, ID, ME, MI, MN, MT, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, UT, VT, WA, WY
Canada AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, NT, NU, ON, QC, SK, YT

Range Map
No map available.

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CA Alpine (06003)*, Inyo (06027), Mono (06051), Tuolumne (06109)*
CO Delta (08029), Lake (08065)*, Mesa (08077), Park (08093)
ME Aroostook (23003), Franklin (23007), Piscataquis (23021), Somerset (23025)
MI Chippewa (26033), Delta (26041), Mackinac (26097), Presque Isle (26141)
MN Becker (27005), Clay (27027), Kittson (27069), Lake (27075), Marshall (27089), Norman (27107), Pennington (27113), Polk (27119), Red Lake (27125), Wilkin (27167)*
NH Carroll (33003), Coos (33007), Grafton (33009)
NY Essex (36031), Washington (36115)
OR Grant (41023), Harney (41025), Lane (41039)
VT Bennington (50003), Caledonia (50005), Chittenden (50007), Lamoille (50015), Orleans (50019), Windsor (50027)
WA Jefferson (53031), Kittitas (53037), Mason (53045), Okanogan (53047), Whatcom (53073)*
WY Johnson (56019), Park (56029), Teton (56039)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Upper St. John (01010001)+, Aroostook (01010004)+*, Meduxnekeag (01010005)+*, West Branch Penobscot (01020001)+, East Branch Penobscot (01020002)+, Lower Kennebec (01030003)+, Lower Androscoggin (01040002)+*, Saco (01060002)+, Passumpsic (01080102)+, White (01080105)+
02 Upper Hudson (02020001)+, Hudson-Hoosic (02020003)+
04 Beaver-Lester (04010102)+, Escanaba (04030110)+, Brevoort-Millecoquins (04060107)+, St. Marys (04070001)+*, Carp-Pine (04070002)+, Lone Lake-Ocqueoc (04070003)+, Mettawee River (04150401)+, Winooski River (04150403)+, Ausable River (04150404)+, Lamoille River (04150405)+, Saranac River (04150406)+, Lake Champlain (04150408)+, St. Francois River (04150500)+
09 Buffalo (09020106)+, Elm-Marsh (09020107)+, Eastern Wild Rice (09020108)+, Sandhill-Wilson (09020301)+, Red Lake (09020303)+, Clearwater (09020305)+, Grand Marais-Red (09020306)+, Snake (09020309)+, Lower Red (09020311)+, Two Rivers (09020312)+
10 Yellowstone Headwaters (10070001)+, Upper Tongue (10090101)+, Clear (10090206)+, South Platte Headwaters (10190001)+, Upper South Platte (10190002)+
11 Arkansas Headwaters (11020001)+*
14 Colorado headwaters-Plateau (14010005)+, Lower Gunnison (14020005)+
16 Fish Lake-Soda Spring Valleys (16060010)+
17 Similkameen (17020007)+, Methow (17020008)+, Upper Yakima (17030001)+, Snake headwaters (17040101)+, Greys-Hobock (17040103)+, Upper John Day (17070201)+, Mckenzie (17090004)+, Queets-Quinault (17100102)+, Nooksack (17110004)+*, Upper Skagit (17110005)+*, Hood Canal (17110018)+, Dungeness-Elwha (17110020)+, Donner Und Blitzen (17120003)+
18 South Fork American (18020129)+*, Upper Tuolumne (18040009)+*, Upper Mokelumne (18040012)+*, Mono Lake (18090101)+, Crowley Lake (18090102)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
General Description: From CNHP Wetland Guide 2012: Growth Habit: culms arising singly or few together from stout, woody, branching, creeping rhizomes. Culms: stiff, triangular, purplish red at the base, 1-4 dm tall, exceeding the leaves.
Leaves: 2-4, clustered near the base. Blades: mostly flat, firm, 1-4 mm wide. Sheaths: tight, slightly filamentose, hyaline and puberulent ventrally, concave at mouth.
Bracts: none or inconspicous
Spikes: usually solitary, erect, plants dioecious, pistillate and staminate spikes similar in size, shape, and color. Terminal spike is cylindric, 1.5-4 cm long, 3-6 mm thick, densely flowered. Lateral spikes sometimes 1-2 at the base of the main spike on pistillate plants, small, sessile, perigynia erect-appressed.
Pistillate Scales: obovate-oblong with an obtuse to broadly acute tip, deep brown to black with a pale midrib and hyaline margins, puberulent and fringed-ciliate along the upper margins, shorter to longer and wider than the perigynia.
Perigynia: ovoid or oblong-obovoid, tapering to the bae, rounded tapering at the apex, short-hairy, especially the upper half, reddish purplish brown, lighter toward the base, 2-3.5 mm long, 1-1.7 mm wide. Nerves: obscure. Beaks: slender, terete, 0.25 mm long, tip somewhat hyaline-erose or identulate. Stigmas: 3

Diagnostic Characteristics: From CNHP Wetland Guide 2012: Main Characteristics:
Single spike
Perigynia reddish brown with white hairs
Pistillate scales red to purple, margins hyaline, central midrib extending midway or to scale apex
Achenes tightly enveloped by perigynia
Plants either cespitose or with long rhizomes

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

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).

  • Ball, P. W., and A. A. Reznicek. 2002. Carex. Pages 254-572 in Flora of North America Editorial Committee, editors. Flora of North America north of Mexico. Volume 23. Oxford University Press, New York, New York.

  • Cooper, D. J. 1996. Water and soil chemistry, floristics, and phytosociology of the extreme rich High Creek fen, in South Park, Colorado, U.S.A. Canada Journal of Botany 74:1801-1811.

  • Dunlop, D. A. 2002. Carex sect. Scirpinae. Pages 549-553 in Flora of North America Editorial Committee, editors. Flora of North America north of Mexico. Volume 23. Oxford University Press, New York, New York.

  • 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.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, December, 1996.

  • 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.

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