Carex distans

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaCyperaceaeCarexCarex distans


A perennial herb found on sea-cliffs, rocky shores, in coastal grasslands and the uppermost parts of saltmarshes; usually growing in bare rock-crevices or on free-draining sandy or gravelly substrates, but also in flushes and seepage zones on cliffs, and where streams debouch onto the shore. Inland, it occurs in wet meadows, marshes and fens on mineral-rich soils. Lowland.



World Distribution

European Southern-temperate element.

Broad Habitats

Littoral sediment (includes saltmarsh and saltmarsh pools)

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 6

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 3

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 4.3

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1039

Life form information

Height (cm): 72

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Tussock-forming graminoid, may slowly spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 814

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 213

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 9

Atlas Change Index: -0.47

Weighted Changed Factor: 31

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.