True fox sedge

Carex vulpina

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True fox sedge Carex vulpina is a species which is mostly associated with wetland habitats such as floodplain meadows, ditches, ponds and rivers, tending to prefer alkaline clay soils. It is a perennial that flowers, then fruits in June and July, when hay meadows burst into bloom with wildflowers. It is a priority species under the UK BAP.

How to identify

The true fox sedge bears a very close resemblance to the false fox sedge, and distinguishing the two species can be very difficult. The true fox sedge has more winged stems and short bracts, whereas false fox sedge has fewer winged stems and much longer bracts. It has bright green leaves, a reddish-brown inflorescence and grows up to 100cm tall.

Where to find it

Classified as a “vulnerable” plant due to recent declines, it is restricted to a few locations in central and southern England, including the Upper River Ray in Buckinghamshire.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

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

Species information

Common name
True fox sedge
Latin name
Carex vulpina
Height up to 100cm
Conservation status
A nationally rare plant which is a UK BAP priority species