Carex richardsonii
Richardson's sedge
Image of Carex richardsonii

Photo by Bradford S. Slaughter 

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Key Characteristics

Small densely clumped sedge (25 cm); leaves with reddish-brown sheaths; staminate spikelet separate, large (10-20 mm), pistillate spikelets short (10 mm); perigynia 3-sided and pubescent.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: SC
  • State Rank: S3S4
  • Global Rank: G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Presque Isle11989
Distribution map for Carex richardsonii

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.


Common in alvar, bedrock glades, and rocky shoreline communities in northern Michigan; also occurs in remnant oak savanna areas in southern Lower Michigan.

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

Little bluestem, prairie dropseed, cat's foot, Canadian milk vetch, harebell, sedges, Indian paintbrush, field chickweed, bastard toad flax, grass, hair grass, prairie smoke, ground juniper, bee-balm, shrubby cinquefoil, old field goldenrod, bulrush sedge, beauty sedge, big bluestem, Pennsylvania sedge, ebony sedge, white cedar, golden ragwort. In oak barrens it might also be found with black oak, white oak, red maple, black cherry, pin oak, hickory, sassafras, service berry, New Jersey tea, sweetfern, and beaked hazelnut.


Protect habitat as well as hydrological and natural disturbance regimes. This species likely benefits from prescribed fire or brush removal to prevent woody plant succession.

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 Aug 18, 2018]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract


Survey References

Technical References

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