Scientific name

Carex L.

Common names




Could be confused with

Acorus, Cyperus, Juncus, Sparganium, Typha

Native distribution

cosmopolitan, mainly temperate

Species commonly cultivated

over 2,000 species worldwide with numerous species cultivated for ponds and wetland restoration projects, including:

Carex buchananii Berggr.

C. comans Berggr.

C. fracta Mack.

C. muskingumensis Schwein.

C. scoparia Schkuhr ex Willd.

C. senta Boott

C. simulata Mack.

C. stipata Muhl. ex Willd.

C. stricta Lam.

C. vulpinoidea Michx.

and many more

Adventive distribution

information not available

Weed status

information not available


clumping or rhizomatous grass-like

Brief description

Perennial sedge, monoecious or sometimes dioecious. Leaves in a rosette, narrow, elongate, flat or keeled or involute. Flowers unisexual, in few- to many-flowered spikelets; spikelets unisexual and either male or female, or bisexual; spikelets arranged in spikes, heads, racemes, or panicles. Perianth absent; pistil enclosed in flask-shaped bractlet (perigynium). Fruit contained by and falling with perigynium.

Natural habitat

shallow water or wet ground of lowlands and especially mountains; often growing at edges of lakes or streams, or in bogs or marshes

Additional comments

A highly species-rich genus distributed mostly in temperate regions. Species identification is mostly based on the shape of the inflorescence and of individual flowers.