Chapter 3. Common Native Grasses of the Northern Midwest

3.8 Tussock sedge

Tussock sedge in its native habitat. Photo by Peter Dziuk of Minnesota Wildflowers.
Tussock sedge in its native habitat. Photo by Peter Dziuk of Minnesota Wildflowers.

Carex stricta

Cool season; Perennial

Characteristics: 1–4’; mound to open upright; foliage green; flowers brown

Growing Conditions: moist to wet soils; full sun; standing water tolerant; hardy zones 3–7

Tussock sedge is a clump-forming sedge that can tolerate very wet sites. It is native to wetlands, wet meadows, fens, and prairie swales. It can tolerate flooding because it forms clumps above the water line, which allows water to get to its roots. This sedge can be aggressive in certain situations and develops a strong, deep root system.

No nativars are currently available. The plant is not widely available, but can be found at native garden centers.

Species that feed on tussock sedge according to the literature are bog lithacodia moth (Deltote bellicula), black dash (Euphyes conspicua), Appalachian brown (Satyrodes appalachia), marsh eyed brown (Satyrodes eurydice), and mulberry wing (Poanes massasoit).

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Gardening with Native Grasses in Cold Climates by Diane M. Narem and Mary Hockenberry Meyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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