is a genus of plants in family Cyperaceae, comprising more than 1000 species. Carex is the most species-rich genus in the family Cyperaceae. This is a large genus from a wide range of habitats, but only a few species are grown in gardens.
Most sedges are found in wetlands, including marshes, calcareous fens, bogs, peatlands, pond edges and even ditches, where they are the dominant vegetation. Sedges are deciduous or evergreen, with colorful foliage and attractive flowerheads. The seedheads of Carex elata
(Tufted sedge) are valuable winter food for birds, which take shelter in the tufts of growth.
is a rare species which occurs only in a few places in England, and is a protected species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.
is a species of sedge commonly known as Analogue Sedge. It is native to the western United States and western Canada, where it grows in wet habitat, from mountain meadows to ditches, often in alkaline conditions. Carex simulata
produces sharp triangular stems up to 80 cm tall from a long, coarse, dark brown rhizome. The inflorescence is dense and rounded to open and long, containing a few flower spikes. The plant is normally dioecious, with individual plant bearing male or female flowers, but not both. Female flowers bear fruits which are coated in shiny, dark brown, pointed perigynia.
is commonly known as Bottlebrush Sedge and Porcupine Sedge. It is native to much of North America, including most of southern Canada and most of United States. It grows well in wet habitat such as wetlands and riverbanks, especially on calcareous (limestone) soils. It can become abundant and weedy if grow in right conditions. It produces dense or loose clumps of triangular stems from short rhizomes. The inflorescence is accompanied by a bract and the fruits are coated in perigynia with pointed and toothed tips.
One of the popular and reliable species is the deciduous Carex elata
'Aurea' (Bowles's Golden Sedge) which has a dense clump of of gracefully arching, yellow leaves. The flower spikes appear in early summer. This is useful for providing contrast in both form and color in mixed border.
'Evergold' has dark green leaves that are so broadly striped with yellow that from a distance, the clump appears to be yellow green. This plant grows well in moisture-retentive but well-drained, fertile soil.
(Weeping Sedge) has evergreen leaves that are dark brown, and bears dark brown, pendulous flower spikes, rather like catkins, on arching stems in late spring until summer.
Plant Carex in sun or partial shade, water-retentive but well-drained soil. Propagation is by seed in spring; divide from mid-spring to early summer. Aphids are known to attack the plant.
Carex hachijoensis (Evergold leaves)
Forest & Kim Starr
James K. Lindsey
Female flowers of Carex baldensis