Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Scirpus atrocinctus
common woolly sedge

Distribution: Occurring west of the Cascades crest in Washington, where nown only from Whatcom County; British Columbia to Washington, east across the northern half of North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Wet, low ground.

Flowers: July-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


Herbaceous perennial, without rhizomes, the culms 8-15 dm. tall, sub-terete.


Stems leafy, the leaves grass-like, elongate, flat, 2-6 mm. wide.


Inflorescence a compound, terminal cyme, with very numerous spikes 3-8 mm. long on short, slender peduncles; inflorescence subtended by several unequal, blackish-based, sheathless bracts, the largest of them nearly 1 dm. long; flowers subtended by blunt scales 1.5 mm. long, with fine red-brown lines on a pale or blackish-green background; perianth of 6 tawny, flexuous bristles that surpass the scales; stamens 3; style trifid.


Achenes triangular, pale, under 1 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Scirpus atrocinctus Fernald
Publication: Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts. 34: 502. 1899. 1899.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Scirpus cyperinus (L.) Kunth var. brachypodos (Fern.) Gilly, orthographic variant [HC]
Scirpus cyperinus (L.) Kunth var. brachypodus (Fernald) Gilly
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Scirpus atrocinctus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Scirpus atrocinctus checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Scirpus atrocinctus information.

E-Flora BC: Scirpus atrocinctus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Scirpus atrocinctus photos.

USDA Plants: Scirpus atrocinctus information.

2 photographs:
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