The key difference between grass and sedge is that grass is a member of plant family Poaceae and it has a hollow cylindrical stem and alternately arranged leaves while sedge is a member of family Cyperaceae and it has a solid triangular stem and spirally arranged leaves.
Cyperaceae and Poaceae/Gramineae are two families of the monocotyledonous flowering plants. Poaceae plants are also known as grasses. Cyperaceae plants are also known as sedges, and they are grass-like weeds. Both grasses and sedges are nonwoody plants. It is often difficult to identify the difference between grass and sedge. One major difference between is their stem. Grass stems are hollow and cylindrical in cross-section while sedge stems are solid and triangular in cross-section.
What is Grass?
Grasses are nonwoody plants belonging to family Poaceae. They are monocotyledonous flowering plants. There are 10,000 species of true grasses. Different types of grasses are seen everywhere in the environment. Grasses include cereal grasses, bamboos and grasses of natural grassland and cultivated lawns and pasture. They can be annuals or perennials. Grass stems are hollow and cylindrical in the cross-section. They produce both vegetative and floral stems. The leaves are two-ranked and alternately arranged. Moreover, they produce showy flowers. Grasses prefer sunny locations with well-drained soils.
Grasses provide forage for grazing animals. Some grasses are grown as ornamental grasses. They are also used as cover plants to control soil erosion.
What is Sedge?
Sedges are grass-like nonwoody plants belonging to family Cyperaceae. There are about 5500 known sedge species. These plants have solid stems which are triangular in cross-section. Their leaves are spirally arranged, and they are in three ranks.
Sedges are perennial plants and prefer shady, moist locations. Sedge stems do not have swollen nodes or joints. Sedge flowers are inconspicuous, and they can be either bisexual or unisexual. They are wind-pollinated flowers. Hence, flowers do not have colourful perianth.
What are the Similarities Between Grass and Sedge?
- Both grass and sedges are monocotyledons.
- Sedges are grass-like plants, so they belong to order Graminales.
- They have fibrous roots.
- Moreover, their leaves have parallel venation.
- They have scattered vascular bundles.
- In addition, they are wind-pollinated plants.
What is the Difference Between Grass and Sedge?
Grass is a plant that belongs to family Poaceae while sedge is a plant that belongs to family Cyperaceae. So, this is the key difference between grass and sedge. Furthermore, grass stems are hollow and cylindrical shape in cross-sections while sedges stems are solid and have triangular cross-sections.
Moreover, grasses have alternate leaves, forming two ranks while sedges have leaves that are spirally arranged in three ranks. Another difference between grass and sedge is that grass can be either annuals or perennials while sedges are all perennials. Furthermore, flowers of grass are relatively showy while sedge flowers are more inconspicuous
The below infographic tabulates more comparisons to discern the difference between grass and sedge.
Summary – Grass vs Sedge
Grasses and sedges are monocotyledon nonwoody plants belonging to order Graminales. However, grass belongs to family Poaceae while sedges belong to family Cyperaceae. Grasses have hollow cylindrical stems while sedges have solid triangular stems. Grass leaves are alternately arranged while sedge leaves are spirally arranged. Moreover, the leaves on grasses are usually two ranked while sedges are usually three ranked. Thus, this summarizes the difference between grass and sedge.