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Mountain Bog Sedge

Carex rariflora

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Cyperaceae (Sedge)
Also in this family:
American Galingale, Birdsfoot Sedge, Black Alpine Sedge, Black Bog-rush, Bladder Sedge, Bog Sedge, Bottle Sedge, Bristle Club-rush, Bristle Sedge, Broad-leaved Cotton-grass, Brown Beak-sedge, Brown Bog-rush, Chestnut Rush, Close-headed Alpine Sedge, Club Sedge, Common Club-rush, Common Cotton-grass, Common Sedge, Common Spike-rush, Curved Sedge, Deergrass, Dioecious Sedge, Distant Sedge, Divided Sedge, Dotted Sedge, Downy-fruited Sedge, Dwarf Sedge, Dwarf Spike-rush, Estuarine Sedge, False Fox Sedge, False Sedge, Few-flowered Sedge, Few-flowered Spike-rush, Fibrous Tussock Sedge, Fingered Sedge, Flat Sedge, Flea Sedge, Floating Club-rush, Gingerbread Sedge, Glaucous Sedge, Great Fen Sedge, Greater Pond Sedge, Greater Tussock Sedge, Green-ribbed Sedge, Grey Club-rush, Grey Sedge, Hair Sedge, Hairy Sedge, Haresfoot Sedge, Hare's-tail Cotton-grass, Heath Sedge, Hop Sedge, Large Yellow Sedge, Lesser Pond Sedge, Lesser Tussock Sedge, Long-bracted Sedge, Many-stalked Spike-rush, Needle Spike-rush, Northern Deergrass, Northern Spike-rush, Oval Sedge, Pale Sedge, Pendulous Sedge, Perennial Sedge, Pill Sedge, Prickly Sedge, Remote Sedge, Rock Sedge, Round-headed Club-rush, Russet Sedge, Salt Sedge, Sand Sedge, Scorched Alpine Sedge, Sea Club-rush, Sheathed Sedge, Slender Club-rush, Slender Cotton-grass, Slender Sedge, Slender Spike-rush, Slender Tufted Sedge, Smooth-stalked Sedge, Soft-leaved Sedge, Spiked Sedge, Spring Sedge, Star Sedge, Starved Wood Sedge, Stiff Sedge, String Sedge, Sweet Galingale, Tall Bog Sedge, Tawny Sedge, Thin-spiked Wood Sedge, Triangular Club-rush, True Fox Sedge, Tufted Sedge, Water Sedge, White Beak-sedge, White Sedge, Wood Club-rush, Wood Sedge, Yellow Sedge
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Bogs, gardens, meadows, mountains, riverbanks, riversides, waterside, wetland.

Brown, no petals
Long-stalked, drooping flower spikes.
Ribbed fruits, scarcely beaked. The beak of the fruit is not broader than the glumes, unlike Tall Bog Sedge.
The grass-like leaves are long and narrow and alternate along their stems. Often found growing with White Sedge (Carex canescens) and Water Sedge (Carex aquatilis). Perennial.
Other Names:
Few-flowered Sedge, Loose-flowered Alpine Sedge, Scant Sedge.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Carex rariflora, also known as Few-flowered Sedge, is a species of sedge that is native to North America, specifically in Canada and United States. It is a perennial herb that grows in damp meadows, peat bogs, and along the edges of streams and rivers. The plant has long, narrow leaves and small, brownish flowers that grow in spikes. It is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens and is also sometimes grown for its medicinal properties. It is a species of concern for conservation in some states.


Mountain Bog Sedge, scientifically known as Carex rariflora, is a unique sedge species that can be found in the mountain bogs and wetlands of North America. It is a perennial herbaceous plant that can grow up to 2 feet tall and forms dense clumps or tussocks.

This sedge species has narrow, flat leaves that are typically less than a centimeter wide and are light green to blue-green in color. Its flower heads are elongated spikes that grow up to 3 inches long and have numerous tiny flowers. The male flowers are located at the top of the spike, while the female flowers are located at the bottom. The flowering period typically occurs from June to August.

Mountain Bog Sedge is adapted to living in wet, acidic soils, and is often found in peatlands, fens, and bog habitats. It prefers areas with high levels of moisture and low levels of nutrients, and can tolerate cold temperatures and a wide range of soil pH levels.

One of the most interesting features of Mountain Bog Sedge is its ability to form dense, matted root systems that can trap and retain water. These root systems help to maintain the water levels in the bog and prevent drying out, which is important for the survival of many other plant and animal species that rely on the bog ecosystem.

Mountain Bog Sedge has important ecological roles in the bog ecosystem. It helps to stabilize the soil, preventing erosion and providing a foundation for other bog plants to grow. It also provides food and habitat for a variety of animal species, including insects, birds, and small mammals.

Unfortunately, Mountain Bog Sedge is currently facing threats from habitat loss and degradation due to human activities such as logging, agriculture, and development. Climate change is also a growing concern, as it may alter the hydrology and temperature regimes of bog habitats, making it difficult for Mountain Bog Sedge to survive.

Conservation efforts for Mountain Bog Sedge include protecting and restoring bog habitats, as well as monitoring and managing invasive plant species. It is also important to raise awareness of the importance of wetland ecosystems and the need to protect them for the benefit of all species.

Mountain Bog Sedge is a unique and important sedge species that plays a vital role in the bog ecosystems of North America. While it is currently facing threats from habitat loss and climate change, conservation efforts can help to protect this valuable species and ensure the survival of the entire bog ecosystem.

Mountain Bog Sedge is an interesting species to study for several reasons. For example, it has a complex reproductive system that involves both sexual and asexual reproduction. The plant can produce seeds through cross-pollination with other individuals, but it can also produce new clones of itself by sending out stolons or runners that grow into new plants. This ability to reproduce through both sexual and asexual means allows the plant to colonize new areas and adapt to changing environmental conditions.

Additionally, Mountain Bog Sedge has a high tolerance for environmental stress, such as drought, flooding, and nutrient-poor soils. This makes it an excellent candidate for phytoremediation, a process that uses plants to remove pollutants from contaminated soil or water. Researchers have studied the ability of Mountain Bog Sedge to remove heavy metals and other pollutants from soil and water, and have found that it is an effective bioaccumulator of these substances.

Another interesting aspect of Mountain Bog Sedge is its cultural significance. In some indigenous cultures, the plant has been used for medicinal purposes to treat a variety of ailments, such as coughs, colds, and digestive issues. The plant has also been used to weave baskets and mats, and the fibers have been used to make cordage and rope.

Mountain Bog Sedge is a fascinating plant species with unique adaptations and ecological roles. Its ability to survive in wet, acidic soils and tolerate environmental stress makes it an important candidate for conservation and restoration efforts. Additionally, its potential for phytoremediation and cultural significance adds to its value and importance. Protecting this species and its habitat is essential for maintaining the health and functioning of wetland ecosystems and the many species that rely on them.

One interesting feature of Mountain Bog Sedge is its relationship with other plant species in the bog ecosystem. The dense root systems of the sedge can create a microhabitat that supports a variety of other plant species, including carnivorous plants like pitcher plants and sundews. These plants thrive in the nutrient-poor soil of the bog, and are adapted to capture and digest insects and other small organisms for their nutrients. The presence of Mountain Bog Sedge can enhance the growth and survival of these carnivorous plants by providing them with a stable substrate to grow on and by trapping insects and other prey.

Mountain Bog Sedge is also important for the cycling of nutrients in the bog ecosystem. As the plant grows and dies, its biomass is decomposed by microorganisms and fungi, releasing nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus into the soil. These nutrients can then be taken up by other plants in the bog, including the carnivorous plants and other wetland species.

In addition, Mountain Bog Sedge provides important ecosystem services like water filtration and storage. The dense root systems of the sedge help to filter and remove pollutants from water as it flows through the bog, improving water quality downstream. The plant also stores large amounts of water in its tissues and root systems, helping to maintain the water levels and prevent drought in the bog.

Overall, Mountain Bog Sedge is a valuable and fascinating plant species that plays an important role in the ecology and functioning of the bog ecosystem. Its adaptations, relationships with other species, and ecosystem services make it an essential component of wetland habitats, and highlight the need for continued conservation efforts to protect and restore these valuable ecosystems.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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