Sedge with yellow flowers: edible shrub and medicinal plant

Have you ever seen little yellow flowers on the lawn or in the weeds that look like little stars with grass-like foliage? Well, that is the description of the yellow-flowered sedge, an herb that may go unnoticed, but it is an Unconventional Food Plant and medicinal use.

This plant grows spontaneously in lawns, gardens and orchards and, due to lack of knowledge, ends up being considered an invasive or weed.

Learn more about this nutritious plant with the following information.

botanical information

The scientific name of the yellow flower sedge is hypoxis decumbens, a species that is part of the Hypoxidaceae family.

Geographic distribution

This species can be found in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Antilles.

popular names

The yellow flower sedge also goes by other names such as:

  • wild sedge
  • false sedge
  • sea ​​urchin
  • wild hedgehog
  • star grass
  • yellow star grass

Brazilian biomes where it occurs

hypoxis decumbens It is a common native grass in areas with preserved vegetation, mainly humid ones.

With a wide distribution in Brazil, it is common to find it in open and humid areas, close to forests and also in areas modified by man.

It can be found in the following Brazilian biomes:

  • amazon
  • caatinga
  • thick
  • Atlantic forest
  • pampas
  • swamp

Characteristics of this species

The characteristics that differentiate the yellow-flowered reed from the common shrub are:


This plant can have a height of between 8 cm and 30 cm, and this large variation may be related to the habitat in which it is found.


Its leaves are ascending, linear and lanceolate.


hypoxia decumbens stands out in the landscape with its small yellow flowers, which are open during the day.


This grassy plant has a tuberous, fibrous, cylindrical and ellipsoid rhizome, which can reach up to 12.5 cm in length and resembles a small potato.


The black, oily and small seeds of 2 cm are concentrated inside a capsule (fruit).

Cultivation Tips

This plant is easily propagated or grown through its seeds. It is easy to grow and only requires the following conditions:


It is not very cold tolerant and may die if exposed to light frost.


Requires light, well-draining soil.


It needs to be in a location with full sun or partial shade.

permanent location

It is recommended to plant it in a permanent place, as it is uncomfortable when moved.

The yellow flower sedge is PANC

The root tubers (potatoes) of this plant are edible and are considered a delicacy.

Can be consumed in;

  • soups
  • with pasta
  • boiled
  • fried
  • in salads

Its tubers are high in protein, as well as phosphorus and zinc, and are as tasty as the best potatoes.

It is medicinal herb with yellow flowers

This plant has healing potential and has been used for this purpose in folk medicine in the East Indies, mainly for the treatment of tumors in the testicles. (Kinupp, 2007)

The leaves are antispasmodic (combats colic)

Flowers are emmenagogues (stimulate menstrual flow).

A decoction of the roots (boiled in water) can be used to treat diarrhea.

Not to be confused with another plant

There is another plant called sedge, belonging to another species cyperus haspan of the Cyperaceae family.

The same as hypoxis decumbens , cyperus haspan it is also edible and medicinal.

Images and uses of the Yellow-flowered Parakeet

In this video on his TikTok, agronomist, plant consultant and ethnobotanist Thomaz Lanza shows what the edible tuber of the yellow-flowered sedge looks like and how to use it for this purpose:

Yellow flower sedge – a nutritious bush

Now that you know more about the yellow-flowered sedge, pay more attention to the bushes and grasses where it usually passes or even in your garden.

Sometimes that plant might be closer than you think. This can happen because it is a plant that is easily confused with grasses, weeds or common grass.


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