Carex sterilis Willd.
Common Name: SEDGE
Coefficient of Conservatism: 10
Coefficient of Wetness: -5
Wetness Index: OBL
Physiognomy: Nt P-Sedge

Carex sterilis male inflorescence A. A. Reznicek male inflorescence

Fens, calcareous sedge meadows, openings in cedar swamps, calcareous shores and seeps; particularly characteristic of sandy-marly flats and interdunal swales along the northern shores of Lakes Michigan and Huron.

This is a major dominant of fens and calcareous shores, usually occurring in dense clumps. Though the plant is basically dioecious, the inflorescences can be somewhat variable. Largely male plants, with few or even no perigynia in the spikes, and largely female plants, with few or no male flowers, look quite different. Though baffling at first, once one is familiar with the species, this odd feature makes it easy to recognize.


Alcona County
Allegan County
Alpena County
Barry County
Benzie County
Berrien County
Cass County
Charlevoix County
    Including Beaver Island
Cheboygan County
Chippewa County
    Including Drummond Island
Crawford County
Delta County
Dickinson County
Emmet County
Genesee County
Grand Traverse County
Gratiot County
Hillsdale County
Huron County
Ionia County
Iosco County
Jackson County
Kalamazoo County
Kent County
Lake County
Lapeer County
Leelanau County
Lenawee County
Livingston County
Mackinac County
    Including Bois Blanc, Mackinac, Round Islands
Macomb County
Menominee County
Montmorency County
Newaygo County
Oakland County
Oceana County
Oscoda County
Ottawa County
Presque Isle County
Schoolcraft County
St. Clair County
Washtenaw County


MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. July 23, 2021.