Species Factsheets

Carex fraserianus

Fraser's 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?

Even though both male and female flowers are in the inflorescence the anthers and stigma are not usually active at the same time, so the plant is not self-pollinating.

Cymophyllus fraserianus


Fraser's sedge (Cymophyllus fraserianus) is a perennial sedge, the only species in the genus Cymophyllus. Its stems, which have a triangular cross-section, grow 10-40cm above a set of broad basal leaves.

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.


Fraser's sedge grows in rich mountain forests on moist slopes and along streams, within a fairly restricted range in the southern Appalachian Mountains.

Survey Dates

Flower, fruit April - July




The narrow range of Fraser's sedge and the loss of its habitat have reduced it to a relatively small number of scattered populations. There is some concern that the existing populations may be so small that they are falling victim to genetic drift, a loss of genetic diversity that can reduce a species' ability to adapt to changes in its environment.


Preservation of Fraser's sedge will require conservation of suitable habitat to allow existing populations to expand, control of invasive competitors, and protection from human disturbance. If sedge populations are able to expand and reestablish, the risk of genetic drift will be greatly reduced.

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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