Carex squarrosa

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: squarrose sedge 
Type: Rush or Sedge
Family: Cyperaceae
Native Range: Eastern and central United States
Zone: 4 to 6
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to September
Bloom Description: Green
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Water Plant, Rain Garden
Flower: Insignificant
Tolerate: Deer, Erosion, Wet Soil


Carex squarrosa grows well in full sun to partial shade. It needs moist soil such as in a wet meadow or lake margin, even tolerating flooding.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Carex squarrosa is found in eastern Missouri on the wet soils of swampy meadows and woods, flood plains, and wet prairies. Its narrow grass-like leaves grow up to 2' in height. The showy seedheads are thimble-shaped and remain on the plant all summer.

Genus name from Latin means cutter in reference to the sharp leaves and stem edges (rushes are round but sedges have edges) found on most species' plants.

Specific epithet means with parts spreading or recurved at the ends.


The foliage may become less attractive or die back in summer.


This sedge is good for stream bank restoration and for growing in areas with consistently wet soil such as around water gardens, lake margins, or wet meadows. Due to its shade tolerance, it is also useful in wooded areas but may require additional water.