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Perennial Sedge

Carex cespitosa

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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, 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:
60 centimetres tall
Bogs, fens, meadows, riversides, swamps, waterside, wetland, woodland.

Green, no petals
A single male flower spike, plus female flower spikes which reach 7cm in length.
The fruit (nutlets) are called achenes.
A perennial sedge which grows in tufts. It resembles Tufted Sedge (Carex elata) but has yellowish-green leaves instead.
Other Names:
Hassock-grass, Tufted Sedge, Tussock Sedge.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Carex cespitosa, also known as tufted sedge or tussock sedge, is a species of sedge native to North America. It is a perennial herb that forms dense, circular clumps of long, narrow leaves. The leaves are typically a green to blue-green color, and are generally stiff and upright. The plant typically grows to be between 20 and 40 centimeters tall, and produces small, inconspicuous flowers in the spring. The seeds are produced in a small, brown, triangular-shaped fruit that is known as an achene. This plant is often used in landscaping for erosion control on slopes or in areas with poor soil. It is also commonly found in wetland habitats such as bogs, fens, and wet meadows.


Perennial Sedge, also known as Carex cespitosa, is a hardy plant that is native to the northern hemisphere. It is a member of the sedge family, which includes other popular ornamental grasses such as Fountain Grass and Blue Fescue.


Perennial Sedge is a clump-forming plant that typically grows to be about 1-2 feet in height and 1-2 feet in width. It has thin, dark green leaves that are around 1/8 inch wide and can grow to be up to 2 feet in length. In the spring, it produces small, green flowers that are held above the foliage on spikes that can reach up to 3 feet in height.

Growing Conditions

Perennial Sedge is a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. It prefers well-drained soil and is tolerant of drought, making it a great choice for xeriscaping. It can also grow in full sun to partial shade, although it will thrive in areas with some shade during the hottest part of the day.


Perennial Sedge requires very little maintenance once it is established. It is a slow-growing plant, so it will not need to be pruned very often. It can benefit from an annual application of a slow-release fertilizer in the spring. The plant can be divided every few years to keep it from becoming too crowded.


Perennial Sedge is a great choice for a wide range of landscaping applications. Its hardiness and tolerance of drought make it a great choice for xeriscaping. It can also be used as a border plant or as a ground cover in shady areas. Its small size and clumping habit make it a great choice for container gardening.

In addition to its ornamental value, Perennial Sedge has also been used for medicinal purposes. The plant contains a compound called scopoletin, which has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Perennial Sedge is a hardy and versatile plant that can be a great addition to any garden. Its tolerance of drought and ability to grow in a wide range of conditions make it a low-maintenance choice for those looking to add some ornamental grasses to their landscape. And for those interested in natural medicine, the plant's potential health benefits make it an even more compelling choice.

More Information

Perennial Sedge is also a great choice for wildlife gardens. The plant's seeds are a food source for a variety of bird species, including American Goldfinches and Dark-eyed Juncos. Its dense foliage provides shelter for a variety of small mammals and insects, making it an important part of a healthy ecosystem.

Another benefit of Perennial Sedge is its ability to control soil erosion. Its extensive root system helps to hold soil in place, making it a great choice for erosion control in areas prone to landslides or other types of erosion.

In terms of landscaping, Perennial Sedge can be used in a variety of ways. It can be planted in groups to create a meadow-like effect, or it can be planted as a border along a walkway or around a garden bed. Its dark green foliage provides a great contrast to other brightly colored plants, making it a great choice for creating visual interest.

If you are considering adding Perennial Sedge to your garden, there are a few things to keep in mind. The plant can spread by rhizomes, so it is important to choose a location where it will not become invasive. It also prefers well-drained soil, so be sure to amend the soil with compost or other organic matter if necessary.

Perennial Sedge is a versatile and low-maintenance plant that can add beauty and function to any garden. Whether you are looking to create a wildlife habitat, control erosion, or simply add some visual interest to your landscape, Perennial Sedge is a great choice.

Perennial Sedge is a great plant for attracting beneficial insects to your garden. The plant's flowers are a source of nectar for bees and other pollinators, while its dense foliage provides a habitat for a variety of beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and lacewings, which are natural predators of garden pests.

In addition to its aesthetic and environmental benefits, Perennial Sedge is also a valuable plant for its cultural significance. In some Native American cultures, the plant was used for medicinal purposes, as well as for basket weaving and other crafts. Its long, thin leaves were often used for weaving baskets, mats, and other items.

If you are interested in incorporating Perennial Sedge into your garden, it is important to choose a variety that is well-suited to your growing conditions. Some popular cultivars include 'Albolineata', which has white-striped foliage, and 'Frosty Curls', which has curly, silver foliage.

Overall, Perennial Sedge is a versatile and useful plant that can add a variety of benefits to your garden. Whether you are looking to attract wildlife, control erosion, or simply add some visual interest to your landscape, Perennial Sedge is a great choice. With a little care and attention, this hardy plant can provide years of beauty and function in your garden.