A wetland native (an emergent aquatic) that forms dense tussocks of straw-colored leaves at the base with bright green new growth emerging from the top. Flowers are reddish brown spikelets. Growth habit varies with soil moisture: this sedge forms large tussocks on wet sites and is more rhizomatous when drier. Carex are larval host to skipper butterflies, attract butterflies and feed turtles. Who wouldn’t want a turtle in their garden? 😊
Tolerates shady conditions. Spreads by rhizomes to form large colonies. Spread may be aggressive and hard to control in average garden conditions.
Height: 1-3 ft.
Spread: 1-2 ft.
Bloom time: May to June
Sun: full sun to part shade
Water: medium to wet
Rain garden, naturalize
According to Rutgers University, Carex are “rarely damaged” by deer.
“Sedges have edges, rushes are round, grasses are hollow, straight to the ground.”