California Native Plant Society
Tap map to see plants native to location
Carex arcta
Please enter either the common name or the botanical name of any native California plant species to see it's plant record

Bear Sedge
  • Added Add to My Plant List
Carex arcta

Zoom To My AddressZoom To California Estimated Plant Range

About Bear Sedge (Carex arcta) Carex arcta is a species of sedge known by the common name northern cluster sedge. It is native to northern North America including most of Canada and northern parts of the United States. It grows in wet areas, especially in coniferous forests. This sedge produces dense clumps of erect stems up to about 80 centimeters in maximum height. The leaves are pale green to grayish, flat, and have reddish or purple-dotted sheaths at the base, and they are sometimes longer than the stems. The flower cluster is a dense, oblong cluster of up to 15 spikes of pointed flowers, each cluster up to 3 or 4 centimeters long and each individual spike up to one centimeter in length. The fruit is covered in a sac called a perigynium which is greenish and veined with a reddish tip.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
2.6 ft (0.8 m)

Flower Color
Purple, Red

Native Status
Natural Setting
Site Type
Wet places, sphagnum bogs

Part Shade

Elevation ?
48' - 5685'

Annual Precip. ?
13.8" - 120.3"

Summer Precip. ?
0.59" - 3.61"

Coldest Month ?
39.9° F - 46.9° F

Hottest Month ?
59.6° F - 68.2° F

Humidity ?
0.29 vpd - 19.15 vpd


Landscaping Information
Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Other Names
Common Names
Northern Cluster Sedge

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

Sign in to your Calscape Account X

Once signed in, you'll be able to access any previously saved plant lists or create new ones.

Email Address

Sign In

Copyright © 1999-2014 California Native Plant Society. All rights reserved.