Carex oligocarpa
Eastern few-fruited sedge
Image of Carex oligocarpa

Photo by Emmet J. Judziewicz 

Key Characteristics

Densely clumped sedge of rich southern forests; leaves 2-4 mm wide and reddish at base; pistillate spikelets with few perigynia (2-8); perigynia ellipsoid with short untoothed beak.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: T
  • State Rank: S2
  • Global Rank: G4G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Carex oligocarpa

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Found in rich deciduous woods and floodplains. One recent collection is from a disturbed woods along a road adjacent to a swamp complex.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

White oak, sugar maple, beech, twinleaf, common trillium, and several sedge species (Carex amphibola, C. blanda, C. sparganioides).


Very little is known of this species, and a majority of state occurrences are known from historical collections. The species is likely sensitive to logging impacts and may require closed canopy conditions. Exotic species are also a concern, as is trampling and ORV use in some areas.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Sep 23, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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