Carex retroflexa

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Carex retroflexa
Care retr.jpg
Photo by John R. Gwaltney, Southeastern
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Order: Poales
Family: Cyperaceae
Genus: Carex
Species: C. retroflexa
Binomial name
Carex retroflexa
Muhl. ex Willd.
CARE RETR dist.jpg
Natural range of Carex retroflexa from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Reflexed sedge

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Carex retroflexa var. retroflexa[1]

Varieties: none[1]


A description of Carex retroflexa is provided in The Flora of North America. This species is similar to C. texensis, but can be told apart by having an perigynium wider than 1.3 mm and a spongy layer more than 1.1 mm.[2]


Ranges from Texas to Kansas to Iowa, east to Indiana and Michigan, north to Quebec and Maine and south to the gulf coast states.[2]



This species has been found along rivers in rich deciduous woods and in floodplains surrounded by wet sphagnum moss. It has also been observed growing alongside trails at the edge of woodlands. It does well in partial to deep shade environments in drying sandy loam of floodplains.[3]

Associated species include Carex albolutescens, Carex atlantica, Carex complanata, Carex lurida, Carex venusta, Carex capillacea and sphagnum species.[3]


C. retroflexa has been observed flowering in April and May and fruiting from March to May.[3][4]

Fire ecology

Populations of Carex species have been known to persist through repeated annual burns.[5]

Diseases and parasites

The introduced earthworm Lumbricus terrestris significantly decreases the growth of C. retroflexa by decreasing the number of culms.[6]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Weakley, A.S. 2020. Flora of the Southeastern United States. Edition of 20 October 2020. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Robert, G. D. and E. H. Philip (2003). "Recommendations concerning the Identification of Carex retroflexa and Carex texensis (Cyperaceae; Section Phaestoglochin Dumort)." Castanea 68(3): 245-253.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: L. C. Anderson, L. W. Curtis, and R. K. Godfrey. States and Counties: Alabama: Wilcox. Florida: Gadsden and Hernando.
  4. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 7 DEC 2016
  5. Robertson, K.M. Unpublished data collected from Pebble Hill Fire Plots, Pebble Hill Plantation, Thomasville, Georgia.
  6. [[1]]. Accessed: April 12, 2016