Carex (sedge) is the Rodney Dangerfield of the shade ornamental grasses for sale..."it don't get no respect". Although lumped together with "true" ornamental grasses, Carex is actually not a grass, but a grass-like plant called a sedge. Sedges are mostly evergreen shade "ornamental grasses" that add dramatic form and blend texturally with most plants. Many sedges are native plants and are easy-to-grow shade perennials for the woodland garden.
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Carex is well-suited to line pathways or fill open spaces in a woodland garden. In form, carex is a perfect shade ornamental grass substitute for liriope and ophiopogon. Carex foliage color varies from green, to blue, to gold/orange or variegated. Carex plants generally form arching mounds from a few inches to more than 15" tall. Some sedge species have an upright habit but the upright carex species do not fall into the tall ornamental grass category unless you consider 2' to be a tall ornamental grass.
Great companion plants to hosta, sarracenia, colocasia and sabatia most carex perform their best when grown in a moist location, although a few are drought-tolerant. Sedges are somewhat tolerant of neglect and are resistant to deer. If you want to buy ornamental grass for a shady site then you should buy sedge instead. It is a tough, low maintenance plant which makes it perfect for rain gardens. Our ever expanding list of carex for sale is below.
Since 1988, Plant Delights Nursery has been the choice of serious gardeners and plant collectors looking for the best and rarest perennial plants. We are pleased to have received the Perennial Plant Association Retail Award in 2011, the American Horticulture Society Commercial Award in 2002, and to have been selected as one of the Best Mail Order Plant Sources - Garden Design Magazine 2010. Welcome to our family of plant lovers!
This superb sedge, native from Quebec south to South Carolina, is a must for shade gardeners. Naturally occurring in dry woodlands, even underneath hemlocks, Carex appalachica is adaptable to almost all garden conditions...except swamps. The very narrow, weeping, mop-top looking, deer-resistant foliage makes an airy, 18" wide clump. When used singly or en masse, the textural contrast near bolder elements is simply stunning. If you've been looking for a shady replacement for an unmown lawn or a hairpiece that matches your green thumb, look no further. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Carex cherokeensis is another of our favorites from this wonderful ornamental grass genus. Carex cherokeensis is a native sedge, home from Missouri east to North Carolina and south to Florida where it can be found in a wide range of conditions from acid seeps to dolomite glades. Our two-year-old clumps are 2' tall x 4' wide, and topped in late spring with wispy flower spikes that reach a foot above the mound of luscious evergreen foliage. We're growing our Carex cherokeensis in average garden soils, but it is often found in very moist habitats in the wild. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Carex 'Treasure Island' is a delightful dwarf woodland sedge...a variegated selection of the Japanese Carex ciliatomarginata that was developed by Michigan's Hans Hansen. Carex 'Treasure Island' is essentially a smaller-growing relative of the better known Carex siderosticta. Carex 'Treasure Island' makes a 3" tall x 15" wide, deer resistant clump in 3 years. Each narrow green leaf is bordered with a dramatic white edge. We have found Carex ciliatomarginata to tolerate a wide range of garden moisture levels, but slightly moist soils seem to make it most happy...and we all like happy sedges! Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
I picked Carex divulsa up in Arizona in 2003, where it was widely sold, grown, and promoted as the California native, Carex tumulicola, until it was finally outed as the European Carex divulsa. I'll bet the West Coast eco-nazi, ethnic-profiling crowd who'd been promoting its use were more upset than Mel Gibson locked in a synagogue. Despite the mixup, Carex divulsa is a fabulous sedge and has been a stellar performer in both our heat and humidity. Carex divulsa makes a lush, evergreen mop-top clump of narrow green foliage to 15" tall x 30" wide that is equally at home in moist shade or dry sun. The clumps are topped with tiny bronze flower stalks in late April...truly fabulous! Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Even with a wide native range from NC to the West Coast, the rare native Carex eburnea is not well-known in gardening circles. Although Carex eburnea naturally occurs on limestone outcrops, it has been fabulous for years in our acid NC soils. The drought-tolerant, 8" wide, symmetrical clumps of soft green, needle-like foliage resemble crooner Justin Bieber's hair...sort of like a pettable green porcupine. Carex eburnea is a delightful deer-resistant sedge that's great in a woodland or rock garden...you'll just love this baby! Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(syn: Carex glauca) This rich blue-colored recent Emerald Coast Growers selection of the European native Carex flacca has wonderfully narrow, glaucous leaves that make a delightfully wispy-textured, evergreen, deer-resistant groundcover. Although Carex flacca prefers moist alkaline soils, it has proven to be quite adaptable to a wide range of garden conditions and soil types. Carex flacca 'Blue Zinger' forms a nice 2' wide patch in 5 years...much more clump forming than the straight species. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
We discovered this fantastic sedge on Taiwan's highest mountain, Yushan (Nantou County), at 7,400' elevation. In our garden, Carex gentilis 'Yushan' has made a stunning 18" tall x 3' wide, finely-textured, evergreen specimen. I find Carex gentilis a marvelous textural addition to the woodland garden. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(aka Carex 'Bunny Blue') Want to cut down on mulching in your woodland garden? Think carex! Carex laxiculmis is another superb American native sedge that can be found in moist woods from Canada south to Florida. Carex 'Hobb' is a particularly nice blue-foliaged selection introduced by the Head Brothers of Seneca, South Carolina. Expect Carex 'Hobb' to make a slowly spreading, 18" wide, deer-resistant clump of 1' long x 0.5" wide evergreen foliage...very nice when used either as a specimen or in a mass groundcover planting. The longer we grow this ornamental grass, the more we love it. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(syn: Carex 'Gilt', Carex 'Fisher's Form') This is a truly great woodland plant. The stiff leaf blades, to 12" long x 0.5" wide, make an evergreen, rigidly symmetrical clump to 24" wide. The deer-resistant foliage is vertically banded white and dark green...much more white than Carex morrowii 'Variegatus' but otherwise identical in growth habit. Looks great winter and summer! Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Available 5-23-2013 Everyone who sees this clumping carex can't leave without it. From a 1970s Barry Yinger expedition to Japan comes this hard-to-find but easy-to-grow selection of Carex morrowii temnolepis v. temnolepis. The 2' wide clump of wispy, thread-like, deer-resistant foliage is striped white-and-green...giving it a silver sheen in the garden. Imagine a 70-year-old with a mop-top cut that hasn't been introduced to hair color and you get the picture. Carex' Silk Tassel' is great in the woodland garden...either in a mass planting or as a specimen near the garden pond...absolutely outstanding! Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
This 1994 PDN introduction was found by our friend, the late Wolfgang Oehme of Oehme and Van Sweden (famous landscape designers). This sport from Wolfgang's garden has the typical growth habit of the North American native (Canada south to Arkansas) Carex muskingumensis (resembling a 1' tall palm tree) but with a clear yellow border around the leaves. Although Carex muskingumensis 'Oehme' emerges green, the vivid yellow stripes appear soon after. As with all sedges, Carex 'Oehme' has excellent deer resistance. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Available 5-30-2013 (aka: Carex 'Finwhite', 'Carfitol') Carex 'Everest' is a lovely white-edged sport of the popular Japanese Carex oshimensis 'Evergold', discovered in 2006 by Pat Fitzgerald of Ireland's Fitzgerald's Nursery. Carex 'Everest' is another wonderful textural ornamental grass for the deer-resistant woodland garden pallette. The 10" tall x 2' wide graceful evergreen mounds of white ribbons are fabulous, either as specimen plants or used in swirling drifts. Although the EU and US patent offices encourage non-sensical names, the breeder insists that Carex 'Everest' is the cultivar name. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(aka: Carex morrowii or hachijoensis) This is one of the most beautiful of all the sedges we grow. The narrow variegated foliage, 15" long x 0.15" wide, arches slightly upward, then out to form a 2' wide clump. Each leaf is vividly striped dark green and creamy gold. The dramatic weeping habit (like nurseries when they run out of stock) lends itself to a number of landscape settings...as a woodland border, near a water feature, or used as an eye-catching mass in the woodland garden...stunning! As with all sedges, it's highly deer-resistant. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Available 5-30-2013 Carex oshimensis 'Everillo' is the magnificent follow-up to Carex 'Everest' from Ireland's Pat Fitzgerald. The solid golden foliage of Carex 'Everillo' makes an incredible 1' tall x 2' wide elegantly weeping evergreen clump of bright golden foliage to energy-efficiently lighten the woodland garden. A morning sun location helps hold the brightest color, which fades to chartreuse in more shade. Carex 'Everillo' is great among hostas and ferns, but it's also fantastic in mixed color bowl container plantings. Carex 'Everillo' was awarded a bronze medal during the 2010 Plantarium in Boskoop, Holland. I think Carex 'Everillo' is one of the most exciting shade plants of the last decade, and as such I've already planted dozens in my own garden. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Carex 'Spark Plug' is a new introduction from our friends at Terra Nova...a dwarf tetraploid version of the great evergreen Carex 'Sparkler'. Compared to its parent, Carex 'Spark Plug' is much more compact, topping out with 9" stalks of unusual spiral, palm-tree like variegated foliage. Carex 'Spark Plug' is great in the woodland garden, either as an accent plant or mass drift. In a container, the tight clumping Carex 'Spark Plug' is just way too cute! Average to moist soils are fine for this easy-to-grow sedge. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
From Japan comes one of the most attention-drawing plants (cures ADD) in our garden (and without flowers). This gorgeous, upright, evergreen deer-resistant sedge resembles a grove of miniature variegated palm trees with cute little whorls of dramatic white- and green-striped foliage atop each of the 12-15" tall stems. This is a real eye-catcher when planted among ferns in the woodland garden...prefers moist-to-normal garden conditions. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
In mesic (a region with a well-balanced moisture supply) woodlands from Maine south to Alabama, you can find this amazing native understory sedge which until recently had been almost non-existent in US gardens. The evergreen 8" tall x 1' wide deer-resistant clumps are composed of 1" wide, powder blue, pleated leaves. Carex platyphylla is topped with insignificant flowers in late spring, but grow this for the textural contrast in the woodland garden. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Carex radiata is a charming, little, narrow-leaf, evergreen sedge that hails from Canada south to Alabama, and west to Nebraska, where it can be found growing on slightly moist sloping sites in light, open shade. Each clump of eastern star sedge will eventually form an 18" tall x 18" wide highly ornamental mound. We love using Carex radiata among ferns, Solomon's seal, and hostas in the woodland shade garden. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Native from Maine south to Texas, Carex retroflexa (related to C. texensis) can be found in openings of dry deciduous forests. Our particular form is one we collected in 2004 from northern Louisiana's Bienville Parish, where the infamous Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were gunned down in 1934. For us, Carex retroflexa has made a stunning, very fine textured, mop-top form...a nice complement to the bold textures of hostas in open woodland. Each clump forms a 6" tall x 18" wide mound. We have seen a bit of seeding in moist sites which is fine with us. I think you'll really like this great but little-known native. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Carex 'Banana Boat' is a beautiful variegated form of the deciduous Carex siderosticta from Japan that makes a slowly spreading, deer resistant clump of 6-8" long, bright golden leaves bordered with a dark green edge. Carex 'Banana Boat' is an easy-to-grow textural complement to ferns in the moist woodland garden. In 5 years, expect a 3' wide deer-resistant patch. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)