Carex filifolia Herbaceous Alliance
Shorthair sedge turf

USDA Ecological Section Map

Summary Information

  • Primary Life FormHerb
  • Elevation1500-3700 m
  • State RarityS4
  • Global RarityG4
  • DistributionUSA: CA, OR (NatureServe)
  • Endemic to CaliforniaNo
  • Endemic to California Floristic Province and DesertsNo
  • Date Added1995/11/01

Characteristic Species

Carex filifolia is dominant or co-dominant in the herbaceous layer with Achillea millefolium, Antennaria rosea, Calamagrostis muiriana, Cistanthe monosperma, Cistanthe umbellata, Deschampsia cespitosa, Dicentra uniflora, Erigeron algidus, Eriogonum nudum, Juncus mertensianus, Lewisia pygmaea, Lupinus breweri, Oreostemma alpigenum, Penstemon heterodoxus, Potentilla spp., Saxifraga aprica, Solidago multiradiata and Trisetum spicatum.

Vegetation Layers

Herbs < 0.3 m; cover is open to continuous.

Membership Rules

  • Carex filifolia ≥ 50% relative cover or conspicuous > 15% absolute cover) if other herbaceous species are present; Calamagrostis muiriana or other short subalpine grasses and sedges are either subdominant or absent (Keeler-Wolf et al. 2003b).


Slopes, ridges, edges of subalpine meadows and basins. Soils are well drained.

Other Habitat, Alliance and Community Groupings

MCV (1995) Shorthair sedge series
NVCS (2009) Carex filifolia herbaceous alliance
Calveg Alpine grasses and forbs, Perennial grasses and forbs
Holland Dry montane meadow, Dry subalpine or alpine meadow
Munz Subalpine forest
WHR Alpine dwarf-shrub, Wet meadow
CDFW CA Code 45.140.00

National Vegetation Classification Hierarchy

Formation Class Cryomorphic Shrub and Herb Vegetation (Polar and High Montane Vegetation)
Formation Subclass Temperate and Boreal Alpine Vegetation
Formation Alpine Scrub, Forb Meadow, and Grassland
Division Western North America Alpine Scrub, Forb Meadow, and Grassland
Macro Group Vancouverian Alpine Scrub, Forb Meadow, and Grassland
Group Californian alpine-subalpine turf