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Sedges

Rough Draft 1.0 10/5/2020

Sedges are triangular stemmed grasslike plant with inconspicuous flowers typically found in wet soil. There are some 5,500 known species. Traditionally, sedges are used for their strong, fibrous properties in the construction of household items such as baskets and mats as well as the construction of boats and thatching for houses. Several species are known for their aromatic and medicinal properties.

Identification tip – “Sedges have edges, and rushes are round, but grasses have nodes from their tips to the ground”. “The ‘edges’ refer to their stems, which are triangular in cross section”.

Sedges reside in the Cyperaceae family in the genus Carex.

  • Sedges from Asia are “well adapted to shade and are often variegated.
  • Sedges from New Zealand are more sun tolerant.
  • Sedges from North America has sedge types that will fit almost any set of conditions and are highly useful in restoration, naturalizing, and greening applications.

Wildlife

The seeds of native sedges are a valuable food source for many kinds of wild birds, insects, and small mammals. They bloom early in the spring before native grasses begin to bloom. Their foliage also provide cover and nesting for birds and other animals.

Tips for Growing Sedge

  • Cool season plants growing most actively during spring and fall.
  • They bloom in early summer.
  • Care needs to be taken in placement and soil prep
  • Sensitive to soil moisture, salt, and temperature fluctuations.
  • Observation is key. 
  • Never cut back more than ⅔ the plants height.
  • If the plant starts to die out in the center divide and transplant.
  • Learn which type you are growing and what conditions it likes best.

Resource Links

http://hoffmannursery.com/carex

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/foliage/sedge/growing-sedge-plants.htm

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