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Carex grayi (Mace Sedge)

Mace Sedge, Gray Sedge, Morning Star Sedge, Bur Sedge, Gray's Bur Sedge, Gray's Sedge

Carex Grayi, Mace Sedge, Gray Sedge, Morning Star Sedge, Bur Sedge, Gray's Bur Sedge, Gray's Sedge, Ornamental grasses, Ornamental grass, Decorative grasses, grasses, perennial grasses

With seed heads resembling medieval spiked clubs, Carex grayi (Mace Sedge) is a distinctive ornamental grass that adds long-lasting interest to the garden. Rising above a pleated, grass-like, semi-evergreen foliage that is light green in full sun (darker in the light shade), its conspicuous and unique mace-like flower spikes draw attention in early summer and remain attractive well into winter. They emerge pale green and turn chocolate as they mature. Native to North America, this moisture-loving plant provides year-round visual interest and is a food source for many bird species.

  • Growing easily in a clump up to 2-3 ft. tall (60-90 cm) and 24 in. wide (60 cm), Carex grayi enjoys full sun, tolerates light shade, and thrives in moisture-retentive soils. Wet soil tolerant!
  • This is an unusual accent plant for beds and borders, containers, rain gardens, bog gardens, and near ponds and streams, where it adds wonderful character and texture to plant combinations. Perfect for fresh or dried flower arrangements!
  • Drought tolerant, once established, Mace Sedge requires very little care. This ornamental grass will self-seed under satisfactory conditions.
  • Deer resistant
  • Propagate through seeding in the fall and division in the spring

Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Cyperaceae
Genus Carex
Common names Sedge
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 12" - 20"
(30cm - 50cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants United Kingdom, United States, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Southwest, Southeast, Midwest, Northeast, Minnesota, Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Oklahoma
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Bog Gardens, Patio And Containers, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard
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Alternative Plants to Consider

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

Recommended Companion Plants

Sedum telephium ‘Purple Emperor’ (Stonecrop)
Lunaria annua (Honesty)
Helichrysum petiolare (Licorice Plant)
Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’ (Chinese Silver Grass)
Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)
Artemisia ludoviciana (White Sage)

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 4 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Cyperaceae
Genus Carex
Common names Sedge
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 12" - 20"
(30cm - 50cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants United Kingdom, United States, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Southwest, Southeast, Midwest, Northeast, Minnesota, Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Oklahoma
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Bog Gardens, Patio And Containers, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Carex (Sedge)
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Carex (Sedge)
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