New York Natural Heritage Program
Back's Sedge
Carex backii Boott
Monocots
Carex backii Troy Weldy
Family: Sedge Family (Cyperaceae)

State Protection: Threatened
listed species are those with: 1) 6 to fewer than 20 extant sites, or 2) 1,000 to fewer than 3,000 individuals, or 3) restricted to not less than 4 or more than 7 U.S.G.S. 7 minute topographical maps, or 4) listed as threatened by U.S. Department of Interior.

Federal Protection: Not Listed

State Rarity Rank: S2S3
A State Rarity Rank of S2S3 means: Imperiled or Vulnerable in New York - Very vulnerable to disappearing from New York, or vulnerable to becoming imperiled in New York, due to rarity or other factors; typically 6 to 80 populations or locations in New York, few individuals, restricted range, few remaining acres (or miles of stream), and/or recent and widespread declines. More information is needed to assign a single conservation status.

Global Rarity Rank: G5
A Global Rarity Rank of G5 means: This species is demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.


Did you know?
Back's sedge was first discovered in Connecticut in 1988 (Mehrhoff 1995), Massachusetts in 1997 (Bertin et. al 2002), and the southern Finger Lakes area of New York in 2004 (Werier 2004). Some think it has been overlooked due to its inconspicuous nature. The species is named in honor of Sir George Back (1796-1878).

State Ranking Justification [-]
There are currently 16 known populations of Carex backii and approximately ten historical populations. This plant tends to prefer wooded sites with a shallow limestone bedrock. Since this is a somewhat specific requirement, habitat options are limited. Invasive species may pose a threat, but for now this threat has had minimal impacts. There are real concerns that swallowwort (Cynanchum spp.) will reduce or eliminate a few populations.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]