True Fox-sedge (Carex vulpina)

This vulnerable sedge is in decline.

Scientific name: Carex vulpina 

Description / identification 

The True Fox-sedge can be identified by its red-brown flowers which bloom in June and July. It has stout stems that are triangular and winged in cross-section with bright green, blade-like leaves. It can grow up to 0.95m and is often confused with its relative the False Fox-sedge. 

Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Habitat 

Generally found in lowland alkaline clay soils which seasonally flood. They can also be found in rivers, ditches and in meadows. 

Distribution 

Present in the south and north-east of England and with localised communities in central England. In Oxfordshire, it can be found in multiple sites neighbouring the Upper River Ray and in the meadows of Otmoor. 

Threats 

True Fox-sedge is vulnerable in the UK, listed in the UK Biodiversity Action Plans (UKBAPs) and has been included in English Nature’s Species Recovery Plans (SRP). Its decline is due to poor land management and the destruction of river flood plains and other habitats favoured by the plant.