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Carex mertensii

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About Mertens' Sedge (Carex mertensii) Carex mertensii is a species of sedge known by the common name Mertens' sedge. It is native to western North America from Alaska to California to Montana, where it grows in moist and wet habitat in mountain forests and meadows. This sedge produces clumps of stems reaching maximum heights between 80 and 120 centimeters. The leaves are small; those toward the bases of the stems are reduced to sheaths only. The flower cluster is a densely packed, bullet shaped cluster of overlapping flowers, mainly hanging on long peduncles. Each flower cluster is generally 2 to 4 centimeters long. Each of the flowers has a dark-colored leaf.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
2.6 - 4 ft (0.8 - 1.2 m)


Growth Rate

Flower Color

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Wet open places

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
3551' - 6462'

Annual Precip. ?
59.7" - 151.1"

Summer Precip. ?
1.90" - 5.63"

Coldest Month ?
33.6° F - 41.3° F

Hottest Month ?
54.0° F - 64.6° F

Humidity ?
1.91 vpd - 17.17 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers sandy or loamy soils. Does not grow well in clay soils.

Landscaping Information

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

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