Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Carex rosea (Curly-styled wood sedge)

Carex rosea on June 7 at Lovegrass Farm on PEI

Carex rosea on June 13 at Lovegrass Farm

Carex rosea on October 15 in full sun
Carex rosea (Curly-styled wood sedge) is a fine textured clump-former native to deciduous & mixed forests.  It grows 8 - 12 inches (20 - 30 cm.) tall and has pretty light green narrow leaves and flowering stems from 6 - 20 in. tall.  The leaves were almost a chartreuse color in Spring.  It is well adapted to dry shade but can handle mesic to wet land and is walnut tolerant.  Sedge plants won't compete with trees for moisture because, unlike turf grasses, sedges have dense, fibrous root systems that hold water.  One third of those roots die every year, decomposing and adding moisture, Co2, and organic matter to the soil.  Sedge is a native alternative to liriope; a commonly planted non-native plant that can be invasive.  Carex rosea makes a great ground cover and can even be used as a filler in container plantings.  We grew our plants at Lovegrass farm from seed; hoping to supply a grass for difficult spots under trees but to our pleasant surprise find it to be a good ground cover in full sun.

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