Greater pond sedge

Greater Pond Sedge

©Neil Wyatt

Greater pond sedge

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Scientific name: Carex riparia
A tussocky sedge, Greater pond sedge has stout, upright flower spikes, strap-like leaves and triangular stems. It prefers lowland wetland habitats on heavy soils.

Top facts


Height: up to 1.2m

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


Greater pond sedge is a clump-forming plant of ditches, ponds, canals, fens and riverbanks, particularly in lowland areas with clay and heavy soils; it is also a popular plant with gardeners. It flowers from May to June, producing stout, upright flowering spikes.

What to look for

Greater pond sedge has tall, triangular stems and bright green, blade-like leaves. Tight, cylindrical clusters of dark brown spikelets (containing the flowers) appear on the ends of the stems.

Where to find

Mainly found in England, particularly in the east, but rarer elsewhere.

Did you know?

As with many sedges and rushes, Greater pond sedge can spread vigorously using creeping rhizomes (underground stems), but also through the pollination of its seeds by the wind.