Grass, sedge, or weapon?

What is it?

Why, that’s a “Mace Sedge” – thus a medieval weapon AND a sedge. Actually…not very menacing.  But very cute. Carex grayi is a wonderful clumping sedge, native to Eastern North America.   Mine is situated at the edge of a home-made bog, and is at least 2.5′ tall with an upright habit.

More common in the trade are the cascading Asian sedges such as Carex dlichostachy ‘Kaga Nishiki’, C. oshimensis ‘Evergold’, and C. morrowii ‘Variagta’, all fabulous plants for the part-shade garden.  My hair has been likened to New Zealand native C. buchananii, the coppery leatherleaf sedge (I took this as a compliment).

The genus is chock full of garden-worthy species, of which the North American natives are finally getting some attention. Folks like grass guru Rick Darke and meadow man John Greenlee have been promoting the heck out of native sedges for both the east and west coasts, respectively. I can’t even remember where I put my mitts on this one, but have been enjoying the heck out of it for the past two years.

7 thoughts on “Grass, sedge, or weapon?”

  1. This sedge always remind me of yellow nut sedge and makes me…uncomfortable. I think you should style your hair like C. buchananii for the Gala…very vertical 🙂 You could be 7.5′ tall!

  2. Oh this is nothing like nut sedge. Bite your tongue. But thanks for the hairstyle advice/commentary on my height 😉

  3. Always remember: rushes are round and sedges have edges (which is not totally accurate but a pretty good rule of thumb). This sedge is very cool, Holly. I’ve never seen it before.

  4. So what is the ‘mace’ in botanical terms — a flower? a seed pod?

    I acquired a sedge by accident (grower mistake) and haven’t been able to clearly ID it, but I’m glad I didn’t weed it out thinking it was a clump of grass. It makes a nice little ‘surprise!’ plant in the midst of Iris prismatica and Iris versicolor.

  5. What a timely post. My SIL’s & I are trekking to the Flower Factory in Oregon,WI and this list this plant in their catalog. Hope its available!

  6. There are many beautiful sedges. One of my favorites is Carex ‘eburnea’, Ivory sedge. It’s soft, green, lanky looking; the kind yo would see in patches in woods.
    Aurea, Bowles’ Golden Sedge, is another one. They grow in part shade, where few ornamental or lawn grasses will go.
    Of course would look great in pots.

  7. Picked this plant up yesterday! Can’t wait to plant it. It is just as great looking for real as in the photos. Thanks for the suggestion.

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