Carex limosa Herbaceous Alliance
Shore sedge fens

USDA Ecological Section Map

Summary Information

  • Primary Life FormHerb
  • Elevation1200-2100 m
  • State RarityS2?
  • Global RarityG4?
  • DistributionCAN: BC. USA: AK, CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY (NatureServe)
  • Endemic to CaliforniaNo
  • Endemic to California Floristic Province and DesertsNo
  • Date Added2009/09/01

Characteristic Species

Carex limosa is dominant or co-dominant in the herbaceous layer with Carex aquatilis, Carex lasiocarpa, Carex utriculata, Comarum palustre, Drosera rotundifolia, Eriophorum gracile, Menyanthes trifoliata, Mimulus primuloides, Pedicularis groenlandica and Scheuchzeria palustris. Emergent shrubs may be present at low cover, including Kalmia microphylla or Vaccinium uliginosum. Mosses may be abundant, including Drepanocladus sordidus and Sphagnum spp.

Vegetation Layers

Herbs < 1 m; cover is intermittent to continuous.

Membership Rules

  • Carex limosa > 50% relative cover in the herbaceous layer (NatureServe 2007).


Springs, seeps, fens on slopes, in basins, and along pond and lake margins. Soils are organic and deep, often forming peat. The USFWS Wetland Inventory (1996 national list) recognizes Carex limosa as an OBL plant.

Other Habitat, Alliance and Community Groupings

MCV (1995) Sedge series
NVCS (2009) Carex limosa seasonally flooded herbaceous alliance
Calveg Wet grasses and forbs
Holland Wet montane meadow, Fen
Munz Freshwater marsh
WHR Wet meadow
CDFW CA Code 45.178.00

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 Bog and Fen
Division North American Scrub and Herb Peatland
Macro Group Western North American Montane/Boreal Peatland
Group MG063. Western North American Montane/Boreal Peatland