Sedges in Armstrong Park

Sedges are perennial plants that belong to the Cyperaceae family. The so called ‘true’ sedges are in the Genus Carex and typically have solid three angled stems. The flowering heads are arranged in male and female spikes. Typically they have solid three angled stems.

Carex pendula

Pendulous sedge forms a large striking plant with drooping flower heads. A closer view shows the male flower spike at the top with the females strung below. This sedge has edible seeds and fibrous foliage. It has been widely used since Neolithic times as a source of food, since the seed heads are not subject to ergot (Claviceps) infection.

Wood Sedge ( Carex sylvatica) also has a single male flower at the top with three to five stalked female spikelets underneath. I have only ever seen one specimen of the plant in Armstrong Park.

Carex sylvatica

Brown sedge (Carex disticha) prefers damp marshy ground.the flowers are dense and untidy with an unusual arrangement. The terminal spike is female, followed by a male spike then another female.

Ornamental Japanese sedge planted in Jesmond Dene by the Nature Area.

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