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: S2
A State Rarity Rank of S2 means: This plant is threatened/imperiled in New York because of rarity (typically 6-20 populations or few remaining individuals) or is vulnerable to extirpation from New York due to biological factors.

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 [-]