Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
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  • Common Tussock Sedge

    SCIENTIFIC NAME: Carex stricta

    COMMON NAMES: Common Tussock Sedge, Tussock Sedge, Upright Sedge, Uptight Sedge

    BLOOM TIME: May, June, July


    • Tussock sedges are usually taller than the other grasses around them.
    • 2 ½ -4 ft. tall with 3 edged stems, as all sedges have.
    • Leaves are medium green & alternating on plant, sometimes to 3 ft. long & floppy.
    • Flowers are firm reddish brown spikes.
    • Habitat: full sun & wet to moist mucky soil.
    • Present in north to central Illinois.


    • Leaf beetles have been observed to feed on Tussock Sedge along with caterpillars of butterflies, skippers, & moths. 
    • The seeds & spikelets of wetland sedges are an important source of food to many ducks, rails, & other wetland birds. To a limited extent, Muskrats feed on the roots, sprouts, & culms of these plants.
    • There are also records of Snapping Turtle & Eastern Mud Turtles feeding on the spikelets & possibly other parts of sedges.
    • Because Tussock Sedge often forms dense colonies of tall plants, it provides excellent cover for the Sedge Wren & other kinds of wildlife.