Dulichium arundinaceum

Three Way Sedge

Three Way Sedge, Photo Courtesy USDA Plants Database

Flora, fauna, earth, and sky...
The natural history of the northwoods


  • Dulichium, from the Latin, "an island of the Ionian Sea, southeast of Ithaca, belonging to the kingdom of Ulysses"
  • arundinaceum, from the Latin, arundo, "reed, cane", and aceus, "resembles,.like"; hence, reed-like.
  • Common name from the alignment of the leaves around the stem
  • Other common names include Pond Sedge


  • Kingdom Plantae, the Plants
    • Division Magnoliophyta, the Angiosperms (flowering plants)
      • Class Liliopsida, the Monocotyledons
      • Subclass Commelinidae
        • Order Cyperales
          • Family Cyperaceae, the Sedges
            • Genus Dulichium, the Sedges
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 40009


  • A grass-like perennial herb with extensive rhizomes.
  • Leaves alternate, simple, linear, perfectly 3-ranked, pointed at the tip, smooth or slightly rough along the edge, up to 3" long, about ¼" broad.
  • Stem hollow, erect, jointed, smooth, round or only obscurely triangular, to 3' tall.
  • Roots
  • Flowers one per scale, with many scales per spikelet, each spikelet pointed at the tip, up to 1" long. Scales: Brownish green, pointed, up to 1/3" long.
    • Sepals absent
    • Petals absent
    • Stamens 3
    • Pistils 1
    • Styles 2
    • Ovary superior (within blossom)
  • Fruit a light brown, oblong achene, 2mm-4mm long with beak; eaten by waterfowl.
  • Seed


  • A waterside plant
  • One of the easiest sedges to recognize, even if not flowering, because of the perfect three ranks in which the leaves are arranged. (Look straight down on the plant to observe this).


  • Newfoundland to British Columbia, south to California, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Texas, and Florida.


  • Swamps, bogs, ponds, sedge meadows.





  • Reproduces by seed and vegetatively by rhizomes
  • Flowers July-September


  • By rhizome division


  • Flourishes in very muddy soil and full sun.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 3 (average minimum annual temperature -40ºF)
  • Cultural Requirements
    • Sun full
    • Soil moist, pH 4.7-7.5
  • Size 12"-18"W x 24"-36"H
  • Growth rate moderate



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Last updated on 26 February, 2004