Carex echinata is a densely tufted sedge with short rhizomes standing about 10 – 40cm tall. The terminal spikelet is female at the tip with male below while lower spikelets are all male.
In appearance it can be confused with C. spicata (Spiked Sedge) and C. muricata (Prickly Sedge) but they mostly occupy different habitats. The forma is found on banks, meadows and woodland edges particularly on heavy damp soils. The latter prefers dry acidic grasslands and heaths. By contrast Star Sedge is a plant of acidic bogs and wet heaths.
Star Sedge is a perennial native of seasonally or permanently waterlogged sites on acidic substrates and is most frequently found in mires, wet heaths, and flushes. It can sometimes be found on acidic soils overlaying base rich substrates in wet meadows and pastures. Most common the north and west of Britain.
In common with most sedges, it requires a period of chilling to break dormancy so is best sown in the autumn.