SEDGE

FAMILY: Cyperaceae | GENUS: CAREX

TYPE
  • Perennials
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Varies by Species
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9

Plant Details

Gardeners may think of the sedges as ornamental grasses, but in fact they belong to an entirely different plant family. Found worldwide, they form clumping tufts of gracefully arching, grasslike foliage. The long, narrow evergreen leaves are often striped or oddly colored. Flowers are generally insignificant. Use sedges in borders, contain- ers, rock gardens, and water gardens. Although they are commonly recommended for moist soils, many will grow in relatively dry soils.

leather leaf sedge

BLUE SEDGE

carex buchananii

  • From New Zealand.
  • Curly-tipped, arching, 2- to 3 feet-long blades make striking reddish bronze clumps 2212 feet wide.
  • Use with gray foliage or with deep greens.
  • Moderate water.

new zealand hair sedge

carex comans

  • Dense, fine-textured clumps of narrow, silvery green foliage.
  • Leaves are usually 1 feet long but may reach 6 feet.; on slopes, they look like flowing water.
  • Bronze is similar but has coppery brown leaves.
  • Frosted Curls, sometimes sold as Carex albula, has silvery foliage with twisted tips and bronze highlights.
  • Moderate water.

palm sedge

carex elata 'Aurea' ('Bowles' Golden')

  • Selection of a European native.
  • Clump to 212 feet high, 112 feet wide, with leaves that emerge bright yellow in spring and hold some color until late summer.
  • Needs ample moisture; will grow in a water garden.

carex flacca(Carex glauca)

  • From Europe.
  • Creeping perennial with blue-gray, grasslike foliage that ranges from 6 inches to 2 feet tall and wide.
  • Evergreen only in mildest climates.
  • Tolerant of many soils and irrigation schemes.
  • Not invasive; spreads slowly and can be clipped like a lawn.
  • Endures light foot traffic, moderate shade, competition with tree roots.
  • Does best with moderate water.

carex morrowii

  • Green-leafed Japanese species known for its variegated forms.
  • All take regular water.
  • Variegata is a name given to many selections with white leaf edges.
  • Forms a clump 1 feet high, 112 feet wide, with fairly coarse (12 inches-wide) leaves.
  • Fishers Form' is similar but has creamy yellow leaf margins.
  • Both of these make good edging plants; individual clumps look great among rocks.
  • Ice Dance has more prominent white leaf borders than 'Variegata' and a spreading habit; it forms a carpet 23 feet wide.
  • Although it increases by rhizomes, it's not invasive.
  • Silver Sceptre has white-edged leaves about 14 inches wide.
  • It is somewhat spreading but does not cover ground as fast as 'Ice Dance'.
  • Fine-textured, very narrow (18 inches.) leaves, dark green with a white center, give Carex m.
  • temnolepis 'Silk Tassel' its delicate, airy look.
  • It spreads about 2 feet wide.

carex muskingumensis

  • From North America.
  • The basic species, to 2 feet tall and spreading widely by rhizomes, has tapered green leaves radiating from lax stems, creating the effect of small, feathery palms.
  • Little Midge, to 10 inches high, is miniature in all its parts.
  • Leaves of 'Oehme' are solid green when new, but they quickly develop yellow margins.
  • Regular water.

japanese sedge

carex oshimensis

  • Evergold is a variegated selection of a Japanese native.
  • Clumping growth to 12 feet high, 23 feet wide.
  • Dark green leaves have a broad central band of creamy white.
  • Needs partial to full shade and regular water.
  • Everillo almost radiates light from its lime-green leaves.
  • Grows 112 feet tall and wide.

pennsylvania sedge

carex pensylvanica

  • Zones US, MS; USDA 6-7.
  • Native from Canada to the Middle South.
  • This is a soft, fine-textured grass for the shade garden standing about 6 inches tall and wide, spreading slowly by rhizomes to make a welcome ground cover under deciduous trees.
  • Commonly associated with oaks.
  • If needed, divide plants to spread more rapidly.
  • Tolerant of moist soil, as well as dry shade.
  • Will take part sun in the cooler zones.
  • Deer resistant.

texas sedge, catlin sedge

carex texensis

  • Southwestern native.
  • Fine-textured, mat-forming sedge to 46 inches high.
  • Medium green, drooping leaves form a wavy carpet dotted by lax flowering stems.
  • Excellent small-scale lawn substitute or ground cover; often used in meadow mixes.
  • Trim to remove seed heads.
  • Needs partial to full shade and regular water.

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