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.