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Tall Bog Sedge

Carex magellanica

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Cyperaceae (Sedge)
Also in this family:
American Galingale, Birdsfoot Sedge, Black Alpine Sedge, Black Bog-rush, Bladder Sedge, Bog 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, 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:
90 centimetres tall
Bogs, gardens, meadows, riverbanks, riversides, waterside, wetland.

Brown, no petals
The lowest bract is normally longer than the male flower spike. Flowers spikes are long-stalked and drooping.
The bluish-green fruits (achenes) are gradually narrowed towards the beak. Each packed spike contains between 5 and 25 fruits.
Pale green, alternate, linear leaves. Blunt 3-sided stems. Perennial.
Other Names:
Boreal Bog Sedge, Magellan's Sedge, Poor Sedge.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Carex magellanica, also known as Magellan's sedge, is a species of sedge that is native to southern South America, specifically Chile and Tierra del Fuego. It is a perennial herb that grows in damp meadows, peat bogs, and along the edges of streams and rivers. The plant has long, narrow leaves and small, brownish flowers that grow in spikes. It is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens and is also sometimes grown for its medicinal properties.


Tall bog sedge, also known as Carex magellanica, is a grass-like plant that grows in wetlands and boggy areas throughout the world, including North America, Europe, and Asia. As a sedge, it belongs to the same family as grasses and rushes, and is an important plant in many wetland ecosystems.


Tall bog sedge is a clumping plant that can grow up to 3 feet tall, with a stem that is triangular in cross-section. The leaves are long and narrow, with a slightly rough texture, and grow from the base of the stem. The flowers are small and brown, and are produced on spikelets that are held above the leaves.


Tall bog sedge is adapted to growing in wetland habitats, and is commonly found in bogs, fens, and other areas with high water content. It is often found growing in association with other wetland plants, such as sedges, rushes, and ferns. In some areas, it may be one of the dominant species in a wetland community.

Ecological Importance

Tall bog sedge is an important plant in wetland ecosystems, where it plays a number of ecological roles. It helps to stabilize wetland soils and prevent erosion, and provides habitat for a variety of wetland animals, including insects, birds, and small mammals. The seeds and foliage of tall bog sedge are also an important food source for a number of wetland birds, such as waterfowl and songbirds.

In addition, tall bog sedge is important for water quality in wetland ecosystems. It helps to filter pollutants and excess nutrients from water as it passes through the wetland, improving water quality downstream. This makes wetlands with tall bog sedge an important part of our natural water treatment infrastructure.

Cultural Significance

Tall bog sedge has been used by humans for a variety of purposes throughout history. Native American tribes used the leaves of the plant to weave baskets and other containers, and the roots were sometimes used to make a tea that was said to have medicinal properties. In some parts of the world, the seeds and foliage of tall bog sedge are still harvested and used for food.


Like many wetland plants, tall bog sedge is facing a number of threats due to habitat loss and degradation. Wetlands are often drained or filled in for agricultural or urban development, which can destroy the delicate balance of wetland ecosystems. Climate change is also causing changes to wetland habitats, which may make it more difficult for plants like tall bog sedge to survive.

In order to protect wetland ecosystems and the plants and animals that depend on them, it is important to conserve and restore wetland habitats. This may involve protecting wetlands through land-use policies and regulations, restoring degraded wetland habitats, and educating the public about the importance of wetlands and the threats they face.


Tall bog sedge is a fascinating plant with a number of important ecological roles. It plays a key role in wetland ecosystems, helping to stabilize soils, provide habitat for wetland animals, and filter pollutants from water. As we work to protect and restore wetlands, it is important to remember the important role that tall bog sedge and other wetland plants play in our environment.

More Information

One of the interesting things about tall bog sedge is that it is a very hardy plant, capable of growing in very harsh conditions. Because it is adapted to wetland habitats, it is able to tolerate high levels of moisture, and can even grow in standing water for extended periods of time. This makes it an important plant for the stabilization of wetland soils, where it helps to prevent erosion and maintain the structure of the wetland ecosystem.

Another interesting feature of tall bog sedge is its reproductive strategy. The plant produces both male and female flowers on separate spikelets, which are held on separate stems. This means that tall bog sedge is a dioecious plant, with separate male and female individuals. This reproductive strategy can help to increase genetic diversity within populations, which can make the population more resilient to environmental stresses.

While tall bog sedge is an important plant in many wetland ecosystems, it is also a common weed in some areas. Because it is able to tolerate a wide range of conditions, it can sometimes outcompete other wetland plants, reducing biodiversity and altering the structure of the wetland community. In some areas, tall bog sedge is actively managed in order to prevent it from becoming too dominant.

Overall, tall bog sedge is an important and fascinating plant with a number of interesting features and ecological roles. As we work to protect wetland habitats, it is important to recognize the important role that tall bog sedge and other wetland plants play in our environment, and to take steps to conserve and restore these valuable ecosystems.

Tall bog sedge is not only an important plant for the environment, but it also has some potential uses for humans. For example, the plant has been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including diarrhea, fever, and headaches. Some studies have also suggested that the plant may have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, which could have potential applications in modern medicine.

In addition, tall bog sedge has been used for a variety of practical purposes throughout history. The plant's long, tough leaves make it an ideal material for weaving baskets, mats, and other household items. In some areas, the plant has also been used to make rope and cordage, due to its strong and flexible stems.

While tall bog sedge may not be as well-known as some other wetland plants, it is an important and fascinating species with a number of ecological and cultural roles. Whether we are working to protect wetland habitats, studying the plant's potential medical uses, or using it for practical purposes, tall bog sedge is a valuable and versatile plant that deserves our attention and respect.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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