Fimbristylis dichotoma

leaf Main Plant Information





Common Names

  • Forked fimbry


  • Fimbristylis polymorpha var. longifolia

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status


Endangered Species Status

No Status

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Non-Woody, Clumping

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Grass-like, Short, Less than 1

Mature Size, Width

Plants have a 1-foot spread.

Life Span

Short lived (Less than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Accent
  • Container
  • Erosion Control
  • Ground Cover

Additional Landscape Use Information

Forked fimbry can be grown in a variety of landscape situations including along edges of water features, stream banks that seasonally flood, and even with roots submerged in water. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Source of Fragrance

  • No Fragrance

Plant Produces Flowers


leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type

Not Showy

Flower Colors

  • Brownish
  • Red

Additional Flower Color Information

Forked fimbry flowers are brown to somewhat reddish brown.

Blooming Period

  • Year Round
  • Sporadic

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Fine
  • Medium

Additional Plant Texture Information

Leaves of the forked fimbry range from 3 to 16 inches long.

Leaf Colors

  • Medium Green

leaf Pests and Diseases

Additional Pest & Disease Information

This sedge is prone to ants, scale, thrips, mealy bugs, and aphids.

leaf Growth Requirements


For forked fimbry use very small amounts of a balanced slow release fertilize with minor elements every six months. Foliar feed monthly with kelp or fish emulsion, or a commercial fertilizer with a weak dilution of one half to one third of recommended strength. This sedge is not a heavy feeder and too much fertilizer will encourage unnaturally long leaves. Never fertilize if planted in natural wetlands setting. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Pruning Information

None required. However, pruning off seed heads will prolong life of the plants but also takes away a nice feature. Trimming is best done by hand with sharp pruners rather than a gas or string trimmer.

Water Requirements

  • Wet

Additional Water Information

Forked fimbry does best in moist to wet situations and will even grow, flower and fruit with roots submerged in water. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Soil must be well drained


Light Conditions

  • Full sun
  • Partial sun

Additional Lighting Information

Best in full sun in moist to wet conditions.

Spacing Information

Forked fimbry should be spaced about a foot or so apart depending on desired thickness in the landscape use.


  • Waterlogged Soil
  • Wind


  • Clay
  • Organic


Short-lived perennials. Plants will re-seed if ground or pot is moist or wet. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Kauaʻi
  • Oʻahu
  • Molokaʻi
  • Lānaʻi
  • Maui
  • Hawaiʻi

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

  • Less than 150, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 150 to 1000, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 1000 to 1999, 0 to 50 (Dry)


  • Terrestrial

Additional Habitat Information

Forked fimbry grows in a variety of moist to wet habitats in mesic or wet forests and has even been found on lava flows.

leaf Special Features and Information

General Information

Fimbristylis belong to the Sedge Family (Cyperaceae) consisting of some 4,000 species in about 70 genera. Of the 200-300 species of Fimbristylis worldwide, three are native to the Hawaiian Islands.

Forked fimbry is categorized as a native passive-invasive and one of the most widespread species of Fimbristylis.


The generic name Fimbristylis is derived from the Latin fimbria, thread or fringe, and the Greek stylos, pillar or column, in reference to the fimbriate style of some members of this genus.

The specific epithet dichotoma is from the Greek dichotomia, divided in two or forked in reference to the anthela (seed head or inflorescence) appearance of continually dividing by twos.

Early Hawaiian Use

No Hawaiian name or use is yet known for forked fimbry.

Additional References



leafMore Links

Plant Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Back to Plant List

Plant List

Other Nursery Profiles for Fimbristylis dichotoma