Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania Sedge)
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Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania Sedge)

Pennsylvania Sedge, Carex marginata, Carex pensylvanica var. glumabunda, Carex pensylvanica var. marginata, Carex pensylvanica var. vespertina, Carex stolonifera


Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania Sedge) is a low-growing, semi-evergreen perennial grass forming a tuft of pale-green arching leaves, 12 in. long (30 cm), in spring and summer. The foliage turns sandy-tan in the fall. In spring, whitish spikelets appear at the tip of rough, triangular stems above the foliage. Pennsylvania Sedge is rhizomatous, spreading to form large colonies from long underground rhizomes. It is a valuable groundcover and a lawn substitute for shady areas, but it will not tolerate heavy foot traffic. It is also an ideal turf alternative in dry shade areas, requiring mowing only once or twice a season to maintain a 2 in. height (5 cm). It can be used to underplant shrubs and perennials, and is excellent for erosion control. Pennsylvania Sedge is native to thickets and dry woodland areas in eastern and central North America. Easy to grow, low maintenance, water-wise, it is also fairly hardy and drought tolerant.

  • Grows up to 6-12 in. tall (15-30 cm) and 12 in. wide (30 cm).
  • Performs best in partial shade in loamy or sandydry to moist, well-drained soils. Tolerates full shade and occasionally wet soils. Some drought tolerance once established.
  • This graceful sedge is perfect as a lawn substitute, groundcover and for edging. Excellent for naturalized areas, woodlands, native gardens, rain gardens and shade gardens
  • This sedge attracts birds, butterflies and other pollinators, but is deer resistant.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for smut, rust, leaf spot, aphids, Anthracnose, and Fungus gnat larvae. 
  • Propagate by division of mature plants in spring, making sure each section has roots and leaves.
  • Native to eastern and central North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 8
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Carex - Sedges
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' (30cm)
Spacing 6" – 10" (15cm – 25cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Edging, Ground Covers, Rain Gardens, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs

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The Plantography Project, Doug McGrady, Flickr, Michael G McKinne, Shutterstock

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 3 – 8
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Carex - Sedges
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' (30cm)
Spacing 6" – 10" (15cm – 25cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Edging, Ground Covers, Rain Gardens, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Carex - Sedges

Guides with Carex - Sedges

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