Alphabetical Plant Listing

Carex comosa (Bristly Sedge)

Bristly Sedge, Longhair Sedge, Bottlebrush Sedge


Carex comosa (Bristly Sedge) is a vigorous clump-forming sedge forming a large tuft of leaves and flowering culms. It produces arching, lustrous lime green leaves, up to 18 in. long (45 cm), along the entire length of the culms up to the inflorescence. In late spring to early summer, each fertile triangular culm, 3-4 ft. tall (90-120 cm), rises well above the foliage bearing large lime-green bottlebrush shaped spikes. Turning golden brown when ripe, they attract many wetland birds, including the American Coot, Wilson Snipe, several rails, many ducks, and the Swamp Sparrow. The root system is fibrous and short-rhizomatous. Native to North America, this moisture-loving plant is one of the most ornamental sedges that can used in rain gardens. Slow-growing, it is an excellent choice for a water garden, wetland garden or near ponds and streams.

  • Grows up to 24-36 in. tall (60-90 cm) and 18-36 in. wide (45-90 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun to light shade in continually moist to wet, loamy or clay soils. Grows poorly in sandy soils.
  • A good choice for plantings in bog gardens, rain gardens or near ponds and streams.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Deer resistant.
  • Propagate by seed.
  • Native to North America, where it grows in western and eastern regions of Canada and the United States, and parts of Mexico.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses, Perennials
Plant Family Carex - Sedges
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Spacing 18" – 24" (45cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Average, High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Montana, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

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Photo credit: Robert H. Mohlenbrock @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA SCS. 1989. Midwest wetland flora: Field office illustrated guide to plant species. Midwest National Technical Center, Lincoln.

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.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses, Perennials
Plant Family Carex - Sedges
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Spacing 18" – 24" (45cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Average, High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Montana, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Carex - Sedges

Guides with Carex - Sedges

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