Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
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  • Marsh Fox Sedge

    SCIENTIFIC NAME: Carex stipata


    COMMON NAME: Marsh Fox Sedge, Common Fox Sedge, Awlfruit Sedge, Awl-fruited Sedge, Stalk-grain Sedge, Sawbeak Sedge, Owlfruit Sedge, Prickly Sedge

    BLOOM TIME: June, July

    PLANT PROFILE:

    Known as prickly sedge for its prickly appearance.

    • Sedges differ from grasses and flowers by having a 3 angled stem.
    • Grows to 48 in. tall on unbranched stems.
    • Stems are spongy, with green leaf blades up to 100cm long and 10mm wide.
    • During maturity it resembles a fox tail then turns brown.
    • Habitat: wet conditions, marsh edges, wet meadows, & ditches.

    INSECT/ANIMAL INTERACTIONS:

    • Foliage of wetland sedges is eaten by¬†grasshoppers.
    • Caterpillars of several skippers & butterflies also feed on the foliage.
    • Larvae of several billbugs live in the stems.
    • Seed heads of wetland sedges are a source of food for Mallards & other ducks, several rails, woodcocks, swamp sparrows, & some upland gamebirds.
    • Foliage rarely eaten by white-tailed deer.