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Bottlebrush Sedge
Carex comosa

a.k.a. Bristly Sedge

One of the region's more common aquatic sedges. It is a large, native, perennial herb, often forming large clumps that may grow to a height of 1 1/2 - 4'. A good clump former, bottlebrush sedge is used in upper shoreline zones. This species does well in restorations, especially in wetlands, shores of lakes, ponds, and stream banks. Spikes persist into the winter, The dense growth form makes this sedge a valuable shoreline stabilizer.

USDA symbol: CACO8

General Information

Plant TypeGrass
Height2 to 3 feet
Light ExposureSun
Soil MoistureMedium, Wet
Bloom ColorGreen, Brown
Bottlebrush Sedge (Bottlebrush Sedge<div><em class="small">Carex comosa</em></div>)
Photo credit: Minnesota Wildflowers (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceVery High
General Resilience6
Salt ToleranceLow
Stress ToleranceFire Tolerant, General Disturbance

Pollinator Value: Low

Bloom MonthsMay to June
Larval Host ofButterflies
Specific Pollinators HostedNumerous butterfly species

Project Planning

Project TypeErosion Control, Rain Garden, Restoration, Sandy or Engineered Soils, Shoreline Buffer
Coefficient of Conservatism6
Herbivore SensitivityLow
Rate of SpreadSlow
Soil StabilizationShallow
Vegetative ReproductionClonal


CountyAitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Cass, Chisago, Clearwater, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Dakota, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Hennepin, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Kandiyohi, Koochiching, Lake, Le Sueur, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Nicollet, Norman, Otter Tail, Pine, Pope, Ramsey, Rice, Sherburne, St. Louis, Stearns, Steele, Todd, Wabasha, Wadena, Waseca, Washington, Winona, Wright
EcoregionDriftless Area, Lake Agassiz Plain, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Glaciated Plains, Northern Lakes and Forests, Northern Minnesota Wetlands, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland, Tallgrass Aspen Parklands