Species Factsheets

Carex lupuliformis

False Hop Sedge

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State Status: Pennsylvania Endangered (PE)
PBS Status: Pennsylvania Endangered (PE)
Federal Status:

Global Rank: G4 rank interpretation
State Rank: S1

Did You Know?

The large pistillate spikelets have a striking appearance, resembling a spiked-club or similar weapon of medieval warfare.

Carex lupuliformes


False hop sedge  (Carex lupuliformis) is a grass-like plant that grows up to 1m tall. Its common name refers to a superficial resemblance of its flower spikes to fruits of the hop vine. The leaves are linear, elongate, and up to 13mm wide. The flowers are arranged in bur-like cylindrical spikes at the top of flowering stems. Male and female flowers are found in separate spikes, with usually one slender male spike held above a cluster of two to six robust female spikes. The female spikes contain densely packed, inflated sac-like structures (perigynia) that have long projecting beaks.

Rank Justification

Critically imperiled in the nation or state because of extreme rarity (often 5 or fewer occurrences) or because of some factor(s) such as very steep declines making it especially vulnerable to extirpation from the state.


The PA Biological Survey considers false hop sedge to be a species of special concern, based on the relatively few occurrences that have been confirmed and the wetland habitat. It has been assigned a rarity status of Endangered.


This species grows in wetlands, such as vernal ponds, bottomland pools, swamps, and marshes, especially on calcareous substrates.

Survey Dates

Fruits late July - early October


In Pennsylvania, the occurrences are mostly in the southern half of the state.



More field surveys are needed to determine the range, abundance, and ecological requirements of the false hop sedge. Creating buffers around wetlands, controlling of invasive species, and protecting of wetland hydrology will help to maintain occurrences of the species.

Conservation Status Map


Map Legend

NatureServe. 2017. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available https://explorer.natureserve.org.


  • NatureServe. 2018. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available at https://www.natureserve.org/explorer
  • Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. 2018.
  • Rhoads, A.F. and W.M. Klein, Jr. 1993. The Vascular Flora of Pennsylvania. American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rhoads, A.F. and T.A. Block.
  • 2007. The Plants of Pennsylvania: An Illustrated Manual. 2nd edition. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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