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Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Carex lacustris (Hairy sedge)
Smith, R.W.

Carex lacustris

Carex lacustris Willd.

Hairy Sedge, Lakebank Sedge

Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)

Synonym(s): Carex riparia var. lacustris

USDA Symbol: CALA16

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A stout, slender, grasslike plant with a cluster of brown seed capsules clinging high on the stem. Lakebank sedge is 1 1/2-5 ft. in height with bluish-green leaves.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Achene
Size Notes: Up to about 5 feet tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green , Brown
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul
Bloom Notes: Flowers inconspicuous. Bloom time refers to fruiting period.


USA: CT , DC , DE , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SD , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: MB , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC , SK
Native Distribution: Que. to s. Man., s. to VA, TN & KS
Native Habitat: Calcareous or neutral swamps; shallow water

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Aquatic: yes
Soil Description: Wet soil to standing water.

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Dion Skipper
(Euphyes dion)

Adult Food Source
Learn more at BAMONA
Appalachian Brown
(Satyrodes appalachia)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Broad-winged Skipper
(Poanes viator)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Carex lacustris in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Carex lacustris in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Carex lacustris


Record Modified: 2022-10-24
Research By: TWC Staff

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