Tussock Sedge

Carex stricta

Tussock Sedge is one of many grass-like plants called sedges. Sedges are often hard to tell apart, because they all have long, green, triangular (shaped like a triangle) stems with rough edges.

Tussock Sedge grows in moist forests and marshes. They are usually right at the water level, or just above the water level.

Tussock Sege grows in clumps up to two feet tall and two feet wide. As leaves die, they build up around the living plant, making a "tussock" or little hill.

Flower stems and flowers are reddish-brown. Tussock Sedge blooms in May and June.

The seeds of this plant are eaten by Mallard, Wood Duck, Wild Turkey, Northern Cardinal, Dark-eyed Junco, squirrels, and other animals. White-tailed Deer eat the leaves, and moles eat the roots.

Erv Evans, North Carolina State University

Copyright, Muhlenburg, Tortoise Reserve

The seeds of sedges are carried by the wind. Besides growing from seed, Tussock Sedge also has rhizomes. Rhizomes are underground stems which spread and sprout new plants. Many sedges close together can form a colony.

As Tussock Sedge clumps form, they trap water between them. This helps other plants, such as duckweed and cattails, grow. It also creates habitat and good places to lay eggs for frogs, salamanders, and insects.

Other moisture-loving plants, such as ferns, can grow directly from sedge clumps. If the water around the tussocks gets too deep, the sedges will die and make way for other plants.

Andy Fyon

Some trees and other plants which often grow alongside Tussock Sedge include: Eastern White Pine, Red Maple, American Beech, Sugar Maple, Eastern Redcedar, White Oak, Black Oak, Silver Maple, American Elm, Sassafras, Loblolly Pine, Black Willow, Flowering Dogwood, Highbush Blueberry, and Kentucky Bluegrass.

Tussock Sedge also provides great nest sites for birds, including ducks, geese, and other ground-nesters. Other birds use leaves and stems to build nests.

Sedges also provide great cover and protection for small animals.

Relationships in Nature:

Animals Using as Food Source

Animals Using as Shelter

Associations With Other Plants

OTHER

Mallard

Mallard

Eastern White Pine

Common Cattail C

Wood Duck

Canada Goose

Black Willow

Common Duckweed C

Wild Turkey

Red-winged Blackbird

Red Maple

Pickerelweed C

Northern Cardinal

Osprey

American Beech

Yellow Pond Lily C

Dark-eyed Junco

Common Snapping Turtle

Eastern Redcedar

Lizard's Tail C

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Northern Bobwhite

White Oak

Cinnamon Fern C

Eastern Chipmunk

Southern Leopard Frog

Silver Maple

Eastern Mole

Beaver

American Elm

White-tailed Deer

Northern Ringneck Snake

Highbush Blueberry

Canada Goose

Carolina Wren

Loblolly Pine

Beaver

American Toad

Kentucky Bluegrass

Large Diving Beetle

Cinnamon Fern

Eastern Bluebird

Sassafras

Muskrat

Black Oak

Common Yellowthroat

Flowering Dogwood

Ebony Jewelwing

Spotted Joe-pye Weed

Bullfrog

Green Algae

Eastern Newt

Lizard's Tail

Green Darner

Long-leaf Pondweed

Eastern Mosquitofish

Swamp Rose Mallow

Relationship to Humans:

People sometimes plant sedges as landscape plants in their gardens. They are also used to stop erosion (washing away of soil by rain).

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Plant
DIVISION
Magnoliophyta
CLASS
Magnoliopsida
ORDER
Cyperales
FAMILY
Cyperaceae
GENUS
Carex
SPECIES
Carex stricta

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