Carex lasiocarpa

Carex lasiocarpa
pistillate inflorescence
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Cyperaceae
Genus: Carex
Species: C. lasiocarpa
Binomial name
Carex lasiocarpa

Carex lasiocarpa is a species of sedge known by the common names slender sedge and woollyfruit sedge.


This is a wetland plant found in habitats including bogs, fens and shorelines, as well as in wet areas in mountainous areas of moderate elevation. It is found across much of North America and Eurasia.


From a rhizome Carex lasiocarpa bears erect stems which may exceed a meter in height and very long, very thin leaves. The stem has one to several compact pistillate spikes and at the tip one longer, fluffy staminate spike. The pistillate spike vaguely resembles a tiny purplish or brownish ear of corn, with several ovaries which each form a fruit.


This species is a clonal perennial that can form nearly monospecific stands on shorelines and lakesides. Where water conditions permit, such as in bays protected from waves, the species sometimes forms thick, floating mats. These floating mats often support a rich array of other plant life adapted to wet infertile conditions, including Sphagnum moss, Ericaceous shrubs, orchids and carnivorous plants.[1] Hence, this particular species of Carex is important in producing distinctive plant communities along lakes and rivers throughout its range. In New York State it is considered to be an indicator species for fens.[2]


  1. Keddy, P.A. 2010. Wetland Ecology: Principles and Conservation (2nd edition). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. 497 p.
  2. Godwin, K. S., Shallenberger, J., Leopold, D. J., and Bedford, B. L. (2002). Linking landscape properties to local hydrogeologic gradients and plant species occurrence in New York fens: a hydrogeologic setting (HGS) framework. Wetlands, 22, 722–37.

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