Carex barbarae Herbaceous Alliance
White-root beds

USDA Ecological Section Map

Summary Information

  • Primary Life FormHerb
  • Elevation0-900 m
  • State RarityS2?
  • Global RarityG2?
  • DistributionUSA: CA, OR (TJM2)
  • Endemic to CaliforniaNo
  • Endemic to California Floristic Province and DesertsNo
  • Date Added2009/09/01

Characteristic Species

Carex barbarae is dominant or co-dominant in the herbaceous layer with Asclepias fascicularis, Carex praegracilis, Eleocharis spp., Epilobium ciliatum, Euthamia occidentalis, Juncus spp., Perideridia kelloggii, Senecio minimus, Solidago spp. and Urtica dioica. Emergent trees and shrubs may be present at low cover, including trees Fraxinus latifolia, Platanus racemosa, Quercus agrifolia or Quercus lobata and shrubs:Cephalanthus occidentalis and Rubus spp.

Vegetation Layers

Herbs < 1 m; cover is intermittent to continuous.

Membership Rules

  • Carex barbarae > 50% relative cover in the herbaceous layer (Evens and Kentner 2006, Hickson and Keeler-Wolf 2007, Klein et al. 2007, Buck-Diaz et al. 2021).
  • Carex barbarae > 50% relative cover in seasonally or intermittently saturated wetlands (Buck-Diaz et al. 2021).


Stream beds, river terraces, levees. Soils are silts to sands and are seasonally or intermittently saturated. The USACE Wetland Inventory (2018 national list) recognizes Carex barbarae as FAC.

Other Habitat, Alliance and Community Groupings

MCV (1995) Not treated
NVCS (2009) Not treated
Calveg Wet grasses and forbs
Holland Great Valley valley oak riparian forest
Munz Freshwater marsh
WHR Wet meadow
CDFW CA Code 45.142.00

National Vegetation Classification Hierarchy

Formation Class Mesomorphic Shrub and Herb Vegetation (Shrubland and Grassland)
Formation Subclass Temperate and Boreal Shrubland and Grassland
Formation Temperate and Boreal Freshwater Marsh
Division Western North American Freshwater Marsh
Macro Group Western North America Wet Meadow and Low Shrub Carr
Group Californian warm temperate marsh/seep