Fringed Sedge, Carex crinita

Fringed Sedge

Carex crinita

Benefits: Pollinator Benefit Graphic
Sun Shade: Plant Light Requirements Graphic
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer
Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Soil Conditions: Loam
Soil Moisture: Wet, Moist, Medium
Color: Green
Fragrance: No
Height: 2to 3 feet
Spacing: 2 feet

Fringed Sedge (Carex crinita) is an evergreen sedge with short creeping rhizomes. It grows in dense tussocks (clumps) of leafy culms (vegetative and flowering stems) rising to 2-3 feet tall (without flowers) and to 1-2 feet wide. Each culm typically has strap-like medium green leaves which are rough along the margins. Flowers bloom in late spring (May-June) in terminal inflorescences atop upright to ascending flowering culms which typically arch above the foliage to as much as 4 feet tall. Each inflorescence consists of drooping flowers in 1-2 staminate and 2-6 pistillate spikelets. Female flowers are followed by tiny fruits (achenes) enclosed in sac-like bracts (perigynia). This is an emergent aquatic that is native primarily to wet meadows, wet prairies, swamps, sloughs, marshes, bogs and water margins.

The blooming period occurs from late spring to mid-summer, lasting about 1-2 weeks. The florets are cross-pollinated by wind. At maturity, the perigynia disarticulate from their spikelets, beginning at the tips. They have the capacity to float on water, distributing their achenes to new locations. The achenes are about 1.5 mm. long, obovoid in shape, and somewhat flattened. They are sometimes slightly crimped along one side. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous. This sedge often forms colonies of plants.

Habitats consist of a wide variety of wetlands, including prairie swales, sandy sloughs, sedge meadows, wet prairies, wet dolomite prairies, marshes, gravelly seeps, swamps, bogs, borders of small lakes, and ditches. This sedge is also found in damp areas of bottomland woodlands.

Easily grown in moist to wet soils including standing water in full sun to part shade. Grows well in wet low spots, water margins and areas that experience some seasonal flooding, but also tolerates drier soils with medium moisture.

 Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  Good for erosion control.
  This is a rather lanky sedge that leans to one side as the spikelets develop.
  Ducks, rails, and other wetland birds feed on the seeds or spikelets.
   Tolerates shady conditions.
  Spreads by rhizomes to form large colonies.
 Further Information

 Wisconsin Fruit Trees
 Wisconsin Edible Berry Shrubs
 Widsconsin Edible Plants-Eat On The Wild Side
 8 Dandelion Recipes
 Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries

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