Carex squarrosa
Image of Carex squarrosa

Photo by Ryan P. O'Connor 

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Key Characteristics

Clumped sedge of wet woods and meadows; leaves 3-6 mm; spike erect on abrupt terminal end of culm, resembling an ovoid button; staminate on lower portion; style persistent, strongly sinuous.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: SC
  • State Rank: S1
  • Global Rank: G4G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Carex squarrosa

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 floodplain forests in southern Lower Michigan, usually in lower bottoms. Also found in seasonally wet vernal pools in dry-mesic forests and in wet-mesic flatwoods in southeast Michigan. Some occurrences are documented from disturbed habitats, including successional wetlands and an abandoned pasture.

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

Silver maple, red ash, cottonwood, sycamore, spicebush, southern blue flag, bladdernut, wood nettle, false nettle, creamy white violet, James’ sedge, American beak-grass, wahoo, pawpaw, blue-beech, green dragon, poison ivy, bushy aster, and creeping strawberry bush.


Conserve hydrology of river system and corresponding cyclical floodplain regime. Maintain healthy intact, mature floodplain forests and minimize forest fragmentation. When possible, leave large tracts of unharvested forests and allow natural processes to operate unhindered.

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 16, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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