Bush’s sedge was a pleasant surprise on Wedding Prairie at Witt’s End Homestead. We first noticed it in the wheel tracks of the path to this go-back prairie in a year when rain was plentiful. Like most sedges, it likes mesic or moist sites, but it also grows well in this upland prairie hillside. It still shows up on this upland prairie in low spots where rain collects, even in drought years and is pretty widespread.
It has a beautiful and distinctive seed head that turns bronze or almost reddish when it is mature. The color turns deep when the seed is ripe in late June. It really got my attention among all the tall grasses. This would be an excellent addition to a rain garden or any site that gets regular moisture. It stands about 1 foot tall with a flowering shoot that reaches about 2.5 feet tall.
It is valuable to birds, insects and small mammals as a food source. This early blooming sedge species is excellent for sunny areas, rain gardens, and as an addition to pollinator and bird habitat.