Sedges

Carex spp.

Description


There are many types of sedges (over100) and they are difficult to identify without using detailed botanical keys. In general, sedges are perennial plants that resemble grasses, grow in shallow water or moist soils, and can reach 4 feet in height. Sedges often grow in thick clusters or tussocks. Stems of sedges are usually triangular. Spikes occur on the upper sections of the plant and can be single or in groups.

Submerged portions of all aquatic plants provide habitats for many micro and macro invertebrates. These invertebrates in turn are used as food by fish and other wildlife species (e.g. amphibians, reptiles, ducks, etc.). After aquatic plants die, their decomposition by bacteria and fungi provides food (called “detritus”) for many aquatic invertebrates. Sedges are considered good wildlife plants. Sedges are grazed by muskrats, nutria, and rabbits, while the seeds are consumed by waterfowl and small birds.