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Carex stricta

Tussock Sedge /

Tussock sedge grows in 2-3' tall clumps about 2' wide. As old leaves die, they build up around the living plant, making a "tussock" or little hill. It grows in or near water and spreads by rhizomes to make new clumps. As new tussocks form, they trap water between them, helping other aquatic plants get established. It also creates quality cover for breeding frogs, toads, salamanders and insects. Plants are great nest and perching sites for birds, including ducks, small herons, swamp and song sparrows, geese, and others. Other birds use leaves and stems to build nests and a number of birds and small mammals such as mallard, wood duck, wild turkey, cardinal, junco, squirrels feed on the seeds.


  • Evergreen
  • Provides habitat for amphibians
  • Provides cover and nest sites for a number of birds including waterfowl
  • Birds and small mammals feed on the seed
  • Larval food source for Northern Eyed and Appalachian Browns, Sedge and Two Spotted Skippers and the rare Mitchell's Satyr, as well as other butterflies
  • Will grow in wet soils or standing water

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Sun to light shade. Best color in full sun. Prefers consistently moist, fertile soil but tolerates drier conditions. Thrives in shallow standing water. Suffers under drought stress. Most effective when planted en masses.

2-3 Feet


2- Feet

USDA Hardiness Zone 5-8

Native Range

Maine to North Dakota, south to Illinois and North Carolina.

Native Trivia

You can tell sedges and rushes apart by remembering the old rhyme, "Sedges have edges but rushes are round." Sedges have long, green, triangular stems with rough edges while rushes (Juncus) have smooth round stems.

"This multi-purpose sedge benefits my frog neighborhood in countless ways!"

Characteristics & Attributes

Plan Sub Group
  • Low Grasses
  • Filtered Shade
  • Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
  • Sun
Soil Moisture Preference
  • Moist
  • Wet
Attracts Wildlife
  • Amphibians
  • Butterflies
  • Hummingbirds
  • Mammals
  • Songbirds
Bloom Time
  • Late Spring / Early Summer
Habitat Collection
  • Butterfly
  • Songbird
  • Wet Sun
Foliage Color
  • Green
Native to
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming