Common Name

Scientific Name

View Utah Distribution Map

Photo by Daniela Roth
Photo Courtesy of Navajo Natural Heritage Program

Navajo sedge, Carex specuicola, is a Federally listed threatened plant that occurs in the canyons of San Juan County, Utah, and in immediately adjacent Coconino County, Arizona. A member of the sedge family, this species is a loosely tufted perennial, 25 to 40 cm tall, with grass-like leaves that droop downward. Its flowers, seen in late June and July, are arranged in spikes, two to four spikes per stem. Navajo sedge is restricted to seep, spring, and hanging garden habitats in Navajo Sandstone, at elevations ranging from 1150 to 1823 meters. Sheep grazing and groundwater pumping are the major threats to the species.


  • Atwood, N.D., J. Holland, R. Bolander, M.A. Franklin, D.E. House, V.A. Armstrong, K.H. Thorne and J.L. England. 1991. Utah threatened, endangered, and sensitive plant field guide. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Region, Ogden, UT.

  • Hermann, F.J. 1970. Manual of the Carices of the Rocky Mountains and Colorado Basin. USDA Forest Service, Agriculture Handbook No. 374. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Govt. Printing Office. 397 pp.

  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.