The distinctive Baikal Sedge definitely ranks as an exceedingly rare plant. In fact, it remains extant in only 14 known groupings which exist scattered globally.
The majority of the population of this species exists in Canada. Yet a few populations occur roughly 1,864 mi (3,000 km) away. These occur in central Asia. Why the extreme separation? To date, no answer has been found.
Presumably, the plant could have once possessed a greater distribution. It also remains possible that the Asian population was accidentally transplanted. For now, it’s a mystery. Nature loves to keep mankind guessing.
Baikal Sedge Physical Characteristics
The Baikal Sedge grows as a small perennial species. They appear (deceptively so) delicate and fragile. but are actually rather hardy. The plant grows in dense tufts and produces long rhizomes. As a result, it can cover large portions of sand.
The stems stay fragile and tend to droop. These may be as much as 13.8 in (35 cm) in length. Because of this, the heads of the stems often drag the ground.
The leaves of the Baikal Sedge generally remain short in length. In addition, these typically display a grayish-green color.
Flowers bloom diminutive and occur in small clusters. Also, these range greatly in color from yellowish green to purplish-black.
Baikal Sedge Habitat and Ecology
The vast majority of Baikal Sedge appears endemically in five regions in the southwest Yukon. Four of these exist in Canada, and the fifth – in Alaska.
Currently, all known populations grow in either active or semi-stabilized sand dunes. That is highly specific. In these locations, the Baikal Sedge usually stays the only plant present.
Reproduction may be either seeds or by sending up new shoots. However, it has been noted that deeper sand accumulations may impede shoot production.
Only a few of the populations of this species grow in a protected area. These occur in the Kluane National Park and Reserve, in Canada. As a result, the majority of the plant is unfortunately highly threatened by habitat loss.
Below are the known locations of Baikal Sedge in Canada.