Common Graminoid Species of the Northwest Forest






Terminology | Pictorial

Carex disperma
Two-seeded Sedge
"Soft-leaved Sedge"

Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)

Soft-leaved Sedge Description

General - loosely tufted perennial from long slender rhizomes; stems very slender, weak, 10 - 60 cm long, usually arching, clothed with old leaves at base.

Leaves - flat, 1 - 2 mm wide, soft, mostly shorter than stem, light green.

Flower Cluster - narrow, 3 - 5 cm long group of 2 - 5 small widely spaced, stalkless spikes; spikes 3 - 6 mm long, greenish; 1 - 2 male flowers at top; 1 - 6 female flowers at base.

Perigynia - plump, greenish to brownish, shiny at maturity, 2 - 3 mm long with minute beak, faint lines, 2 - sided; scales usually shorter than perigynia, whitish translucent with green midvein; 2 stigmas.


Moist woods, wetlands, stream banks and lake edges; widespread across Northwestern Ontario boreal region; circumpolar.


Three-seeded sedge (C. trisperma) has 2 - 3 spikes with the female flowers above the male. The lowermost spike is in the axil of a slender, 2 - 4 cm long bract. It is generally rare and grows in wet forests, swamps, bogs and fens, scattered primarily east of the Rockies. Two-seeded sedge was given the species name because the mature spikelets usually have 2 plum perigynia that look like 2 yellowish green seeds. Similarly, trisperma means '3-seeded', in reference to the 3 rounded, 'seed-like' perigynia usually found in each spikelet.

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