This season, we have a large selection of native sedges. Use them as accent plants, instead of lawn, or instead of mulch under your trees.
Carex woodii (Pretty Sedge): Narrow fine textured leaves, forming colonies. Yellow-green spikelets are held above the leaves in spring. In the wild, occurs in well drained, moist or dry acidic or calcareous woods. In landscape situations, it is an excellent groundcover for the shade garden.
Carex albicans (White-tinged Sedge) Bright green narrow thread-like foliage. Thrives in a well-drained shade garden or dry woodland. Can be mowed several times per season.
Carex laxiculmis (Creeping Sedge) Forms semi-evergreen mounds of foot-tall lush shaggy foliage. Striking blue-green color. In late spring, greenish scaly flower spikes are displayed above the foliage. This sedge occurs in moist woods or can be used as an accent or groundcover in a shade garden.
Carex socialis (Social sedge) Forms dense tufts of light green, semi-evergreen narrow foliage. In late spring, green elongated flower spikes appear above the foliage. Occurs in part shade to partly sunny moist, wet or seasonally flooded woods. Use as woodland groundcover or in a rain garden.
Carex leavenworthii (Lawn sedge) A clump forming grass for part shade will spread by and not a runner, but seeds out nicely for quick fill. Will need 1 to 2 inches of irrigation per month when grown in full sun. Only grows 6 inches tall, so never needs mowing.
Carex rosea (Curly-styled wood sedge) A petite perennial sedge that forms 1’ mounds of narrow shaggy foliage. The leaves are deep green and semi-evergreen. In late spring green star-shaped flower spikes are displayed above the foliage. This sedge occurs in shade to partly shaded woods in wet to dry soil. It also has great landscape potential as a woodland groundcover or lawn substitute.
Carex pennsylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) Forms large colonies of deep green, narrow, semi-evergreen blades, about 12” long. In early spring whitish spikelets are held above the leaves. Occurs in partial sun or shade in well drained or dry acidic woodlands. An excellent groundcover or lawn substitute for the shade garden.
Choose a single sedge for your area, or plant clumps of different sedges for contrasting texture and color. If the area will get absolutely no foot-traffic, consider mixing in some flowering shade perennials such as woodland phlox, virginia bluebells, or foam flower. They will add a touch of color to set off the carpet of sedge.