Fox Sedge Grass

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Fox sedge is a perennial grass that is found through most of Asia and Europe. In the UK it is less common and found only in a few choice areas in southern and central England. The grass seems to prefer soils that are occasionally flooded and in shady or open conditions. However it seems to do just as well growing in wet, open meadows.


Fox sedge is a member of the Cyperaceae sedge family. This is a grass that grows in clumps to be around one hundred centimetres in height and can gain a spread of sixty centimetres. The stems are firm, thin and triangular. They are brown in colour at the base and have white, thin sheaths towards the top. The leaves are quite narrow and smooth but have rough margins. They form clusters at the base and are usually taller than the stem.

Flowers and fruits

The flowers of this grass are in the form of clusters, or inflorescences, which are made of densely flowered spikes. One cluster contains around fifteen or more spikes that are held closely together. The base of these bisexual spikes has bristle-like bracts. The staminate flowers are found on top of the spikes and the pistillate flowers at the bottom. The flowers are green in colour and bloom from around April to June. The distinctive clusters of flowers make this grass easily identifiable. The seedheads reach maturity in late summer and finally burst out from the middle of the clump.


This Fox sedge grass is used widely as an ornamental grass due to the unique and beautiful flowers it produces, and is often found complimenting water gardens. Another important use that this grass is put to is restoration. It is a clumping grass and it naturalizes wherever it is planted. It has proven to be an ideal colonizer of wetland mitigation sites. It is planted in many locations that remain moist, such as near springs, ponds, streams and moist woods to reverse the effects of soil erosion or deforestation.


This plant is a native species and has been found growing in all of the continental United States save for two of them, which are Utah and Nevada. It is a pioneer species which means it can colonize open, wet areas soon after they have been disturbed.

If you�re thinking of growing this plant then keep in mind it has to be grown in full sun to part shade and it thrives in wet soils, although it can also grow well in normal soils. Its growth rate will be reduced in normal soils. It is most commonly found growing in clay soils, but has been found to grow well in sandy soil as well as loamy soil.


The Fox sedge is found near areas with moist, open ground such as prairie swales, swamps, wet ditches, lowland forests, ravines, and alongside the edges of springs, lakes, ponds and marshes. It is often found with other species of plants such as wool grass, other sedges, brome grass, soft rush, bulrush, ox eye daisy, Viriginia wild rye, ironweed, sneeze wood, monkey flower, pye weed and boneset.

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Author: Tammy Sons

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