Drooping Sedge

Drooping Sedge

Drooping Sedge - Carex pendula

Local name: Sala or Sara

This plant forms thick bushes up to a metre and a half high, wrapped at the base by a reddish-brown reticulate sheath.

The basal leaves, elegantly curved by the time they have finished growing, are almost two centimetres wide. The stems are triangular, strong, with cutting edges, and sheathed by the leaves as high as the inflorescence.

There is only one small, usually erect male spike at the tip of the stem; the two to six female spikes below are up to fifteen centimetres long, regularly spaced one from the other and drooping.

Hygrophilous woodlands, Alder stands and river banks are the ideal habitat of this beautiful and characteristic plant, once widespread and common all over Italy but now rare on account of the increasing reduction of its natural habitat.

Like many other Cyperaceae the leaves of the Drooping Sedge were also much used as straw for stuffing and covering material.