San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature ConnectionSDNHM Field Guide
Carex obispoensis
San Luis Sedge



Cespitose, herbaceous perennial to 1.8 m tall; pistillate spikelets on inflorescence hang down in a nodding habit.

General Distribution

Central Coast region of San Luis Obispo County on serpentine soils below 600 m elevation. Only known from Sycuan and McGinty Peaks in San Diego County.


This is a rare, serpentine endemic for California that extends the range of this species hundreds of miles to the south. Carex obispoensis was originally found growing on gabbro soils near the top of Sycuan Peak within the Sycuan Peak Ecological Reserve owned by the California Department of Fish & Game and subsequently discovered on McGinty Mountain as well. This is a major biogeographical disjunction for this rare plant species and more populations should be looked for on other gabbro mountains with wet areas in our county. This plant is one of 15 species in the genus found in the county.

Close-up of Carex obispoensis, photo by Jeannie Gregory

Carex obispoensis, photo by Jeannie Gregory

Text by Jon Rebman, Ph.D.; photos by Jeannie Gregory

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