Fox Sedge (Vulpinoidea)

The Fox Sedge (Vulpinoidea) is generally described as a perennial graminoid. This is native to the U.S. (United States) has its most active growth period in the spring . The greatest bloom is usually observed in the spring, with fruit and seed production starting in the summer and continuing until fall. Leaves are not retained year to year. The Fox Sedge (Vulpinoidea) has a long life span relative to most other plant species and a moderate growth rate. At maturity, the typical Fox Sedge (Vulpinoidea) will reach up to 3.2 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 0 inches.

The Fox Sedge (Vulpinoidea) is easily found in nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by seed, sprigs. It has a moderate ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have medium vigor. Note that cold stratification is not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below -38°F. has low tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

Landscaping: Fox sedge is used as an ornamental grass near water gardens.

Restoration: Fox sedge is a clumping grass that will naturalize where planted. It is planted in locations that remain moist, near streams, springs, ponds, and moist woods. It is an excellent colonizer of wetland mitigation sites. Weediness Fox sedge spreads rapidly and may be weedy or invasive in some regions or habitats, displacing desirable vegetation if not properly managed. Please consult with your local NRCS Field Office, Cooperative Extension Service office, or state natural resource or agriculture department regarding its

General Characteristics

General: Sedge Family (Cyperaceae). Fox sedge is a perennial, clump-forming grass that grows to be 30 to 100 cm tall and spreads up to 60 cm wide. This is a U.S. native. Stems are slender and firm, triangular, brownish at the base and have whitish, thin sheaths that are conspicuously cross-wrinkled near the top. The leaves are narrow, 0.6 cm wide, smooth with rough margins, clustered at the base of the plant and usually taller than the stem, growing up to 1.2 m tall. The inflorescences are made up of densely flowered spikes that are 4 to 10 cm long and up to 1.5 cm wide. Bristle-like bracts, up to 5 cm long, are located at the base of each spike. Staminate flowers are at the top of the spike and pistillate flowers are at the base. The flowers are green and bloom from May through June. The seedheads mature in late summer and spray out from the center of the clump, resembling a fox’s tail. The distinctive inflorescence makes fox sedge easy to identify.

Required Growing Conditions

Fox sedge is a native species and has been reported in all but two of the continental United States, Nevada and Utah. For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site (

Habitat: Fox sedge is found near water on moist open ground in swamps, prairie swales, lowland forests, wet ditches, ravines, and along the edges of marshes, springs, lakes, and ponds. It is found with other plant species such as soft rush, wool grass, bulrush, other sedges, brome grass, Virginia wild rye, ox eye daisy, boneset, pye weed, ironweed, golden alexanders, sneezewood, and monkey flower.

Adaptation The USDA hardiness zones for fox sedge are 3-7. It is a pioneer species that colonizes wet open sites soon after disturbance. It grows in full sun to part shade and likes normal to wet soils. It is most abundant in clayey soils, but also does well in sand and loam.

General Upkeep and Control


Plant Basics
Growth Rate Moderate
General Type Graminoid
Growth Period Spring
Growth Duration Perennial
Lifespan Long
Plant Nativity Native to U.S.
Commercial Availability Routinely Available
Physical Characteristics
Bloom Period Spring
Displays Fall Colors No
Shape/Growth Form Bunch
Drought Tolerance Low
Shade Tolerance Intermediate
Height When Mature 3.2
Vegetative Spread None
Flower Color Green
Flower Conspicuousness No
Fruit/Seed Abundance Medium
Fruit/Seed Seasonality Summer Fall
Seed Spread Rate Moderate
Gardening Characteristics
Propagations (Ways to Grow) Seed, Sprigs
Moisture Requirements Medium
Cold Stratification Required No
Minimum Temperature -38
Soil Depth for Roots 16
Toxic to Nearby Plants No
Toxic to Livestock No
After-Harvest Regrowth Rate Slow
After-Harvest Resprout Ability No
Responds to Coppicing No
Growth Requirements
pH Range 6.8–8.9 pH
Precipitation Range 12–12 inches/yr
Planting Density 10912–19000 indiv./acre
Soil Textures Fine, Medium
Soil Depth for Roots 16
Minimum Frost-Free Days 110 day(s)
Salinity Tolerance None
CaCO3 Tolerance Medium
Sustainability & Use
Leaf Retention No
Fire Resistant Yes
Causes Livestock Bloating None

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database,
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA