Open the Advanced Search

Bog Sedge

Carex limosa

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Cyperaceae (Sedge)
Also in this family:
American Galingale, Birdsfoot Sedge, Black Alpine Sedge, Black Bog-rush, Bladder Sedge, Bottle Sedge, Bristle Club-rush, Bristle Sedge, Broad-leaved Cotton-grass, Brown Beak-sedge, Brown Bog-rush, Chestnut Rush, Close-headed Alpine Sedge, Club Sedge, Common Club-rush, Common Cotton-grass, Common Sedge, Common Spike-rush, Curved Sedge, Deergrass, Dioecious Sedge, Distant Sedge, Divided Sedge, Dotted Sedge, Downy-fruited Sedge, Dwarf Sedge, Dwarf Spike-rush, Estuarine Sedge, False Fox Sedge, False Sedge, Few-flowered Sedge, Few-flowered Spike-rush, Fibrous Tussock Sedge, Fingered Sedge, Flat Sedge, Flea Sedge, Floating Club-rush, Gingerbread Sedge, Glaucous Sedge, Great Fen Sedge, Greater Pond Sedge, Greater Tussock Sedge, Green-ribbed Sedge, Grey Club-rush, Grey Sedge, Hair Sedge, Hairy Sedge, Haresfoot Sedge, Hare's-tail Cotton-grass, Heath Sedge, Hop Sedge, Large Yellow Sedge, Lesser Pond Sedge, Lesser Tussock Sedge, Long-bracted Sedge, Many-stalked Spike-rush, Mountain Bog Sedge, Needle Spike-rush, Northern Deergrass, Northern Spike-rush, Oval Sedge, Pale Sedge, Pendulous Sedge, Perennial Sedge, Pill Sedge, Prickly Sedge, Remote Sedge, Rock Sedge, Round-headed Club-rush, Russet Sedge, Salt Sedge, Sand Sedge, Scorched Alpine Sedge, Sea Club-rush, Sheathed Sedge, Slender Club-rush, Slender Cotton-grass, Slender Sedge, Slender Spike-rush, Slender Tufted Sedge, Smooth-stalked Sedge, Soft-leaved Sedge, Spiked Sedge, Spring Sedge, Star Sedge, Starved Wood Sedge, Stiff Sedge, String Sedge, Sweet Galingale, Tall Bog Sedge, Tawny Sedge, Thin-spiked Wood Sedge, Triangular Club-rush, True Fox Sedge, Tufted Sedge, Water Sedge, White Beak-sedge, White Sedge, Wood Club-rush, Wood Sedge, Yellow Sedge
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
80 centimetres tall
Bogs, fens, gardens, marshes, meadows, swamps, water, waterside, wetland.

Brown, no petals
Long-stalked, drooping female flowerheads. Reddish-brown glumes.
Glaucous fruits which narrow abruptly into a very short beak.
Glaucous leaves which are arranged alternately along the stems. Sharp 3-sided stems. Perennial.
Other Names:
Black Sedge, Black Spruce Sedge, Common Bog-sedge, Mud Sedge, Shore Sedge.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Carex limosa is a species of sedge in the Cyperaceae family, native to North America. It is commonly known as the black sedge or black spruce sedge and typically grows in wet habitats such as bogs, swamps, and fens. It is a perennial herb that typically grows to 30-80 cm in height, with triangular, dark green leaves and spikes of small, inconspicuous flowers. It is sometimes used in landscaping for its attractive foliage and tolerance of wet conditions.


Bog sedge (Carex limosa) is a wetland plant that is found in a variety of habitats, including bogs, fens, and marshes. This plant is native to North America and Europe, and it plays an important role in wetland ecosystems.

Description of Bog Sedge

Bog sedge is a perennial plant that can grow up to 80 centimeters tall. It has long, narrow leaves that are typically less than 3 millimeters wide. The leaves are green and grow from a basal rosette. The stems of the plant are triangular in shape and are also green. The flowers of bog sedge are small and inconspicuous, and they grow on spikes that are located at the top of the stems.

Habitat and Distribution

As the name suggests, bog sedge is typically found in wetland habitats, particularly bogs, fens, and marshes. These habitats are characterized by wet, acidic soils and a high water table. Bog sedge is native to North America and Europe, and it can be found throughout much of the northern hemisphere.

Ecological Importance

Bog sedge plays an important role in wetland ecosystems. It helps to stabilize the soil, preventing erosion and protecting the wetland from damage. The plant also provides habitat and food for a variety of animals, including insects, birds, and small mammals. In addition, bog sedge is important for carbon storage, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Conservation Status

Bog sedge is not considered to be a threatened species, but it is often impacted by human activities that degrade wetland habitats. These activities include land use changes, such as agriculture and urban development, as well as drainage and other alterations to the hydrology of wetlands. As a result, conservation efforts are important to protect the habitats where bog sedge grows.

Bog sedge is an important plant in wetland ecosystems, providing habitat and food for a variety of animals and helping to stabilize the soil. While it is not considered to be a threatened species, conservation efforts are important to protect the habitats where it grows. As we continue to understand the importance of wetlands for biodiversity and carbon storage, bog sedge will likely remain an important plant for years to come.

More Information

Bog sedge is one of several species of sedge that are found in wetland habitats. The sedge family (Cyperaceae) is a large and diverse group of plants that is found in many different habitats around the world. In wetland ecosystems, sedges play an important role in stabilizing the soil, providing habitat for wildlife, and storing carbon.

In addition to its ecological importance, bog sedge has also been used by humans for a variety of purposes. Historically, the tough, fibrous stems of the plant were used to make cordage, baskets, and mats. The leaves were also used to make a tea that was believed to have medicinal properties.

Today, bog sedge is still used for a variety of purposes, including erosion control and wetland restoration. In addition, it is sometimes used in landscaping and gardening, particularly in wetland gardens and rain gardens.

One of the interesting things about bog sedge is that it is able to grow in very acidic soils. This is because the plant is able to take up nutrients and minerals that are not available to other plants. As a result, bog sedge is often used in phytoremediation, a process by which plants are used to clean up contaminated soils.

Bog sedge is an important plant in wetland ecosystems, providing a variety of ecological and practical benefits. As we continue to understand the importance of wetland habitats, it is likely that bog sedge will play an increasingly important role in conservation and restoration efforts.

In addition to its ecological and practical uses, bog sedge also has cultural significance in some regions where it grows. In traditional folklore, the plant was often associated with fairies and other magical creatures. In some cultures, it was believed that wearing a wreath of bog sedge on one's head would protect them from harm.

Bog sedge is also an important indicator species for wetland health. Wetlands are some of the most threatened ecosystems in the world, and monitoring the health of these ecosystems is crucial for their conservation. By studying the distribution and abundance of bog sedge, scientists can gain insights into the health of wetland ecosystems and make informed management decisions.

Despite its many benefits, bog sedge is sometimes viewed as a nuisance plant, particularly in agricultural areas where it can interfere with crop production. In some regions, efforts are underway to control the spread of bog sedge and other wetland plants in order to maximize agricultural productivity.

In conclusion, bog sedge is an important plant in wetland ecosystems, providing a variety of ecological, practical, and cultural benefits. As we continue to understand the importance of wetlands for biodiversity, carbon storage, and other ecosystem services, the role of bog sedge in these ecosystems will likely become increasingly important. By working to protect and restore wetland habitats, we can ensure that species like bog sedge continue to thrive for generations to come.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map