Carex alata

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: broadwing sedge 
Type: Rush or Sedge
Family: Cyperaceae
Native Range: Eastern United States
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Green
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Insignificant
Tolerate: Deer, Erosion, Wet Soil


Best grown in moist to wet soils in full sun to part shade. May go dormant in hot summer weather if soils are not kept consistently moist.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Carex alata is a Missouri native sedge featuring narrow, grass-like green leaves which typically grows in clumps or tussocks to 2.5' tall. It is indigenous primarily to Ozark sink-hole ponds, with some scattered populations also present in southeastern Missouri swamps. Flowering stems appear in spring bearing clusters of small green scale-like flowers. Egg-shaped fertile spikes to 1/2" long.

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 winged.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Best in water gardens, bog gardens or in wet soils along streams or ponds.