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Carex rostrata

Carex rostrata Stokes

Beaked Sedge, Swollen Beaked Sedge

Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)

Synonym(s): Carex rostrata var. ambigens

USDA Symbol: CARO6

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

This is a 1-4 ft., light green sedge with a loosely clumpy growth form. Leaves and culms arise from stolons and a short rootstock. Shiny culms are thick and spongy with grayish to reddish sheaths at the base. Culms are shorter than the uppermost leaves but the leaflike bracts are longer than the inflorescence. The topmost, staminate spikes are erect and narrow; the lower pistallate spikes are cylindrical and droop with age. Swollen beaked sedge is a perennial.


From the Image Gallery

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Inflorescence: Spike
Leaf: Green
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

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


USA: AK , ID , IL , MI , MN , MT , WA , WI
Canada: BC , NB , NL , NS , PE
Native Distribution: Greenland to AK, s. to DE, WV, TN, SD, NM & CA
Native Habitat: Stream and lake margins, swamps & wet meadows

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Aquatic: yes
Soil Description: Wet soil to shallow water.
Conditions Comments: Stems arising from creeping rhizomes can form a dense sod.


Description: Not Available
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

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.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Additional resources

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


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

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