New York Natural Heritage Program
Fernald's Sedge
Carex merritt-fernaldii Mackenzie
Carex merritt-fernaldii Stuart Kooge
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?
The specific epithet merritt-fernaldii is named in honor of Merritt Fernald 1873-1950. Fernald discovered this species. He was one of the premier botanists in northeastern North America in the first half of the 20th century. He is the author of Gray's Manual of Botany, 8th edition, which has become the plant "bible" for this region.

State Ranking Justification [-]
While we are only aware of eight known populations, this plant is certainly overlooked. There are nearly 20 historical locations, but those may or may not be useful in locating new sites. This is a disturbance-loving plant that may appear at a site for a short period of time and then return to the seed bank. As a Section Ovales sedge, many botanists either intentionally skip over identifying these or run into problems keying them out. With just a little experience, these can be easy to separate. More people who know how to identify this sedge are needed to search for it. With targetted surveys, additional populations are likely. These populations may be small though and the plant is subject to succession.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]