Species Factsheets

Carex sprengelii

Sprengel's Sedge

View as PDF

State Status: N
PBS Status: Pennsylvania Rare (PR)
Federal Status:

Global Rank: G5 rank interpretation
State Rank: S3

Did You Know?

This species can be differentiated from similar species due to its drooping seed spikelets, round vein-less perigynia, long slender perignia beaks and very fibrous culm base.

Carex sprengelii


Sprengel's sedge (Carex sprengelii) is grass-like plant up to 60cm in height with linear, elongate leaves and dangling clusters of Sprengel's fruits that appear in late spring. It is one of the more easily distinguished species of the large and complex genus Carex.

Rank Justification

Vulnerable in the nation or state due to a restricted range, relatively few populations (often 80 or fewer), recent and widespread declines, or other factors making it vulnerable to extirpation.


The Sprengel's sedge has been given a proposed status of Rare on the Plants of Special Concern in Pennsylvania list by the Pennsylvania Biological Survey, based on the relatively few historical and recent records that have been documented in the state. More field work is necessary to determine if the species is of conservation concern.


The species grows in moist soil on bottomlands and streambanks and also on cliffs and rocky slopes.

Survey Dates

Fruits mid-May - late June


It is known historically from the eastern and central counties in Pennsylvania.


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.
PNHP is a partnership between The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources,
the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission,
and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
DCNR Home Page
PA Game Commission Home Page
PA Fish and Boat Commission Home Page
Western PA Conservancy Home Page
DCNR Home Page PNHP | Forestry Home | Contact Us | Search This Site
© 2019 PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
DCNR Home Page