Pointed broom sedge

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

Scientific name: Carex scoparia Schkuhr ex Willd.

Common name(s): pointed broom sedge, broom 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

– reproduces by rootstocks and seed

-Flowers from July to September.

-Grass-like sedge

-Stems 1/2′ to 2 1/2′ tall and triangular

-Leaves less than 1/8′ wide

-Three to ten flower spikes

  • oblong, narrow at both ends
  • brownish or straw colored
  • 1/4″ to 3/4″ long
  • 1/8″ to 1/4″ in diameter with many flowers.

– two varieties in New England; var. scoparia is New England-wide, while var. tessellata is known only from eastern ME (Flora Novae Angliae states it should probably be treated as a separate species).  See Flora Novae Angliae information on Go Botany webpage


-disturbed sites

-meadows and fields




Haines, A., Farnsworth, E., Morrison, G., & New England Wild Flower Society. (2011). New England Wildflower Society’s Flora Novae Angliae: A manual for the identification of native and naturalized higher vascular plants of New England. Framingham, MA: New England Wild Flower Society. p. 124.

Go Botany. “Carex Scoparia Schkuhr Ex Willd.” Carex Scoparia (Pointed Broom Sedge): Go Botany, 2021, gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org/species/carex/scoparia/.


Eric T. Doucette, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor of Biology, MA College of Liberal Arts, North Adams, MA (updated Feb 2018)