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Carex lupulina (Hop Sedge)

Hop Sedge

Carex lupulina, Hop Sedge, Ornamental grasses, Ornamental grass, Decorative grasses, grasses, perennial grasses

Carex lupulina (Hop Sedge) is a robust perennial sedge forming a loose tuft of flowering culms and leaves. It produces ascending to widely spreading, recurved, light green leaves, up to 24 in. long (60 cm), along the entire length of the culms up to the inflorescence. In late spring and summer, the culms are topped by large, bright green spikes that resemble a medieval weapon. The female flowers are followed by small fruits enclosed in sac-like bracts. As the seed matures, they take on a golden brown color. Coots, ducks, rails, gamebirds, granivorous songbirds, and other wetland birds feed on the seeds or spikelets. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous and Hop Sedge eventually spreads by rhizomes. Native to eastern North America, Hop Sedge occurs naturally in wet prairies, prairie swales, wet meadows along rivers, low areas along ponds and lakes, typical swamps and sandy swamps, openings in bottomland woodlands, shallow vernal pools, degraded seasonal wetlands, and ditches. Useful in wetland and shoreline restorations, it is an excellent choice for a water garden, wetland garden, or near ponds and streams. 

  • Grows up to 24-48 in. tall (60-120 cm) and 12-24 in. wide (30-60 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun to light shade in moist to wet soils. Prefers soil containing loam, sand, and clay. Tolerates occasional flooding.
  • 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 or by division in spring.
  • Native to most of eastern North America.

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 9
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses, Perennials
Plant Family Cyperaceae
Genus Carex
Common names Hop Sedge, Sedge
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 2' - 4'
(60cm - 120cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 18" - 24"
(50cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Wisconsin, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, Midwest, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Southeast, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Southwest, Texas, Oklahoma
Tolerance Deer, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Bog Gardens, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
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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

Iris versicolor (Blue Flag)
Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)
Iris virginica (Southern Blue Flag)
Juncus effusus (Common Rush)
Equisetum hyemale (Horsetail)
Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)

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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 - 9
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses, Perennials
Plant Family Cyperaceae
Genus Carex
Common names Hop Sedge, Sedge
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 2' - 4'
(60cm - 120cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 18" - 24"
(50cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Wisconsin, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, Midwest, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Southeast, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Southwest, Texas, Oklahoma
Tolerance Deer, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Bog Gardens, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Carex (Sedge)
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Carex (Sedge)
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