Carex scirpoidea
Bulrush sedge
Image of Carex scirpoidea

Photo by Daniel C. Nepstad 

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Key Characteristics

Small clumped sedge (10-40 cm) of limestone bedrock, cobble, and marly fens; leaves V-shaped in cross section; one spike per culm, male and female spikelets on separate culms; perigynia pubescent and reddish-brown in color.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: T
  • State Rank: S2
  • Global Rank: G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Presque Isle11999
Distribution map for Carex scirpoidea

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.


Occurs on alvar, limestone pavement, and cobble along Great Lakes shores and also inland in northern fen communities with marl. Known historically from one site in Keweenaw County on a volcanic conglomerate shoreline.

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

Beauty sedge, ebony sedge, dwarf lake iris, butterwort, northern white cedar, Arkansas mint, Kalm's lobelia, Houghton's goldenrod, butterwort, ragwort, horizontal juniper, white cedar, white and black spruce, tamarack, little bluestem, prairie dropseed, cat's foot, Canadian milk vetch, harebell, sedges, Indian paintbrush, field chickweed, bastard toad flax, grass, hair grass, prairie smoke, bee-balm, shrubby cinquefoil, and old field goldenrod.


Primary management need is protection from excessive foot traffic and ORVs. The species thrives along shorelines under natural disturbance regimes.

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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