Carex bigelowii. Stiff sedge or Bigelow’s sedge.

Life-form & Growth Form:  

Hemicryptophyte. Herbaceous perennial. Rhizomatous, rhizome short-creeping.  

Flowering period: 

July and August.


Mountain summit grassland. Well-drained montane grassland and sedge-heath. Open stony ground. 


Excessive sheep grazing limits sexual reproduction as flowering spikes rarely persist e.g. in the Mournes. Peat erosion and poaching of the sward is caused by excessive localised livestock trampling and excessive footfall by visiting hikers. Inability to reproduce sexually due to excessive sheep grazing may over time result in genetic bottlenecking. Three extant populations distant from each other, creating greater risk of local extinction(s). Over time, climate change may cause more competitive temperate species to invade montane swards and shade Arctic-alpines.

Static distribution map:
Carex bigelowii
Carex bigelowii

For an interactive map follow this link to the BSBI webpage