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Slender Tufted Sedge

Carex acuta

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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, 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, ditches, fens, gardens, marshes, ponds, riverbanks, riversides, water, waterside, wetland.

Brown, no petals
Brownish-black flower spikes (catkins). The lowest bract overtops the catkins.
Green nutlet (an achene), abruptly tapering into a fine point.
Glaucous leaves. A perennial with sharply 3-angled stems.
Other Names:
Pointed Sedge, Sharp-flowered Sedge, Slender-spiked Sedge.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Carex acuta, also known as pointed sedge or sharp-flowered sedge, is a species of perennial herb that is native to Europe and Asia. It typically grows in wet habitats such as bogs, fens, and along the edges of streams and ponds. It can grow up to 80 cm tall, and has narrow, green leaves and small, inconspicuous flowers that are arranged in spikes. The spikes are typically green to brown in color. It is often used in landscaping and gardening as an attractive and hardy plant for damp or wet areas, but also can be found in natural habitats.


Slender Tufted Sedge, or Carex acuta, is a perennial plant that belongs to the Cyperaceae family. It is native to Europe, Asia, and North America, and can be found in a wide range of habitats, including wet meadows, marshes, and ditches. The plant's slender stems can reach up to three feet in height, and it has long, narrow leaves that are typically green or yellow-green in color. Slender Tufted Sedge is a popular ornamental plant in gardens and landscaping, but it also plays an important ecological role in its natural habitat.

One of the most notable features of Slender Tufted Sedge is its adaptability to wet environments. The plant has a fibrous root system that can absorb a lot of water, which makes it an ideal species for areas that are prone to flooding or standing water. It also has a high tolerance for nutrient-poor soils, making it well-suited to wetland habitats where other plants might struggle to grow. In addition, Slender Tufted Sedge has the ability to spread via underground rhizomes, which allows it to quickly colonize new areas and create dense stands of vegetation.

Slender Tufted Sedge provides important ecological functions in its natural habitat. It is a primary food source for many species of insects and birds, including the Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting. Its dense root system helps to stabilize soil and prevent erosion, while also providing habitat for small invertebrates and other organisms. In wetland environments, Slender Tufted Sedge can also help to filter pollutants from the water, improving water quality and creating a healthier ecosystem.

For gardeners and landscapers, Slender Tufted Sedge is a popular choice due to its attractive appearance and adaptability to a range of growing conditions. It can be used to create naturalistic plantings, as well as to add texture and color to more formal designs. The plant's fine texture and upright growth habit make it an excellent choice for borders, mass plantings, or as a filler between larger plants. It is also a good choice for rain gardens or other water-wise landscaping designs.

In terms of care, Slender Tufted Sedge is a relatively low-maintenance plant. It prefers moist, well-drained soils and full to partial sun exposure. While it can tolerate some drought, regular watering will help to keep the plant looking its best. In garden settings, the plant may need to be cut back periodically to prevent it from becoming too invasive, but otherwise requires little pruning or maintenance.

Slender Tufted Sedge is a versatile and adaptable plant that provides important ecological benefits in its natural habitat, while also being a popular choice for gardeners and landscapers. Its ability to thrive in wet environments and nutrient-poor soils makes it an ideal species for creating healthy, sustainable landscapes, while its attractive appearance and low maintenance needs make it a great addition to any garden or planting design.

In addition to its adaptability and ecological benefits, Slender Tufted Sedge also has cultural significance. In some cultures, the plant has been used for medicinal purposes. The root of the plant was traditionally used to treat a variety of ailments, including headaches, menstrual cramps, and diarrhea. It was also believed to have antiseptic properties and was used to treat wounds.

Slender Tufted Sedge is also a popular subject in art and literature. It has been featured in paintings, photographs, and other works of art, and has been celebrated in poetry and literature. For example, the British poet John Clare wrote a poem called "The Sedge" in which he describes the beauty of the plant and its importance in the natural world.

Despite its many benefits, Slender Tufted Sedge is facing some threats in the wild. The destruction and degradation of wetland habitats is one of the biggest threats to the species, as is the introduction of invasive plant species that can outcompete Slender Tufted Sedge for resources. Climate change may also pose a threat, as changing weather patterns could impact the plant's ability to thrive in its natural habitat.

Slender Tufted Sedge is an important plant with many valuable qualities. Its adaptability, ecological benefits, cultural significance, and aesthetic appeal make it a valuable addition to any landscape or garden. By understanding the importance of this species and taking steps to protect it, we can help to ensure that it continues to thrive for generations to come.

One interesting aspect of Slender Tufted Sedge is its role in carbon sequestration. Wetlands are known to be important carbon sinks, and the dense stands of Slender Tufted Sedge in wetland habitats can help to store significant amounts of carbon in their root systems. This makes the plant an important player in the fight against climate change, as it helps to remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the soil.

Another interesting aspect of Slender Tufted Sedge is its relationship with mycorrhizal fungi. Mycorrhizal fungi are a group of fungi that form symbiotic relationships with plant roots, helping the plants to access nutrients and water from the soil. Some research has shown that Slender Tufted Sedge may have a particularly strong relationship with mycorrhizal fungi, which may help it to thrive in nutrient-poor soils. This relationship is also thought to play a role in the plant's ability to sequester carbon in its root system.

Finally, Slender Tufted Sedge has potential for use in ecological restoration projects. Due to its adaptability and ability to quickly colonize new areas, the plant can be used to restore degraded wetland habitats and improve soil stabilization and erosion control. By reintroducing Slender Tufted Sedge to degraded habitats, it is possible to improve the health of wetland ecosystems and support a wide range of plant and animal species.

In conclusion, Slender Tufted Sedge is a fascinating and important plant with many valuable qualities. Its adaptability, ecological benefits, cultural significance, and potential for use in restoration projects make it a plant with many uses and applications. By understanding the importance of this species and taking steps to protect and restore its natural habitats, we can help to ensure that it continues to thrive and provide benefits for both humans and the natural world.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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