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Carex macrocephala

Carex macrocephala Willd. ex Spreng.

Big-head Sedge, Largehead Sedge

Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)


USDA Symbol: CAMA10

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

This is a coarse, low, distinctive sedge with 4-12 in. stems rising singly or few together from long, creeping rhizomes. The firm leaves are clustered near the base but often surpass the flowering head in height. The large seedhead is dense and spikelike. Big-head sedge is a perennial plant.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Shape: Linear
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul
Bloom Notes: Perianth absent. Bloom time refers to fruiting period for Carex spp.


Canada: BC
Native Distribution: Coasts from Lincoln Co., OR to AK
Native Habitat: Sandy, coastal beaches & dunes

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Description: Sand.
Conditions Comments: Suitable for seaside gardens.

National Wetland Indicator Status

Status: FAC FACU
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Carex macrocephala in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Carex macrocephala in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Carex macrocephala


Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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