Black sedge

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated February 2018.

Scientific name: Carex nigra (L.) Reichard

Common name(s): black sedge, black flowering sedge, smooth black sedge

Links: USDA PLANTS Profile, NPIN Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


– perennial

-purple-black scales

-spikes can seem to have a checkered appearance

-lowest bract has no sheath

– may be confused with C. lucorum, which also occurs in wild blueberry fields, especially when not in flower or in early flower. See Go Botany webpage for C. lucorum


-disturbed sites



Natural History:

-was first introduced to Georgia



Go Botany. “Carex Nigra (L.) Reichard.” Carex Nigra (Smooth Black Sedge): Go Botany, 2021,