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Carex appalachica (Appalachian Sedge)

Appalachian Sedge

Carex appalachica, Appalachian Sedge, Ornamental grasses, Ornamental grass, Decorative grasses, grasses, perennial grasses

Carex appalachica (Appalachian Sedge) is a low-growing, clump-forming perennial sedge forming a dense tuft of fine-textured, grass-like arching leaves, 12-18 in. long (30-45 cm). The weeping foliage moves nicely in the wind creating sweeping motions. In spring, inconspicuous flower spikes appear above the foliage. They provide nectar to pollinators and provide birds with a buffet of summer seeds. Appalachian Sedge is rhizomatous, slowly spreading to form small colonies from underground rhizomes. It is a valuable ground cover and a lawn substitute for shady areas, however, it will not tolerate foot traffic. It is also an ideal turf alternative in dry shade areas. It can be used to underplant shrubs and perennials and is excellent for erosion control. Appalachian Sedge is native to dry or mesic forests of eastern North America. Easy to grow, low maintenance, water-wise, it is also incredibly hardy.

  • Grows up to 4-6 in. tall (10-15 cm) and 12-18 in. wide (30-45 cm). The sedge will spread slowly to form colonies.
  • Performs best in partial shade, or full shade in any well-drained soil. It can handle full sun with adequate moisture. Tolerates dry soils. Drought tolerant once established.
  • This graceful sedge is perfect as a lawn substitute or as a ground cover. Excellent for erosion control, woodland gardens, native gardens, rock gardens, and shade gardens.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Appalachian Sedge is fairly unpalatable to deer.
  • Cut to the ground in late winter.
  • Propagate in spring by division, seeds.
  • Native to dry or mesic forests of eastern North America.

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 7
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Cyperaceae
Genus Carex
Common names Sedge
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 4" - 6"
(10cm - 15cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 18" - 24"
(50cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low, Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky
Tolerance Full Shade, Drought, Deer, Dry Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Ground Covers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Carex flacca ‘Blue Zinger’ (Blue Sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania Sedge)
Carex plantaginea (Plantain-Leaf Sedge)
Carex tumulicola (Foothill Sedge)
Carex pseudocyperus (Sedge Hop)
Carex lurida (Shallow Sedge)

Recommended Companion Plants

Aquilegia canadensis (Canadian Columbine)
Iris cristata (Dwarf Crested Iris)
Tiarella cordifolia (Foam Flower)
Waldsteinia fragarioides (Barren Strawberry)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 7
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Cyperaceae
Genus Carex
Common names Sedge
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 4" - 6"
(10cm - 15cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 18" - 24"
(50cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low, Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky
Tolerance Full Shade, Drought, Deer, Dry Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Ground Covers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Carex (Sedge)
Guides with
Carex (Sedge)
Not sure which Carex (Sedge) to pick?
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