Greater pond sedge

Greater Pond Sedge

©Neil Wyatt

Greater pond sedge

Scientific name: Carex riparia
A tussocky sedge, Greater pond sedge has stout, upright flower spikes, strap-like leaves and triangular stems. It prefers lowland wetland habitats on heavy soils.

Species information


Height: up to 1.2m

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


Greater pond sedge is a clump-forming plant of ditches, ponds, canals, fens and riverbanks, particularly in lowland areas with clay and heavy soils; it is also a popular plant with gardeners. It flowers from May to June, producing stout, upright flowering spikes.

How to identify

Greater pond sedge has tall, triangular stems and bright green, blade-like leaves. Tight, cylindrical clusters of dark brown spikelets (containing the flowers) appear on the ends of the stems.


Mainly found in England, particularly in the east, but rarer elsewhere.

Did you know?

As with many sedges and rushes, Greater pond sedge can spread vigorously using creeping rhizomes (underground stems), but also through the pollination of its seeds by the wind.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.