More Information About Carex
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. Sedge is a mostly evergreen, shade, "ornamental grass" that adds dramatic form and blend texturally with most plants. Many sedges are US native plants and are easy-to-grow shade perennials for the woodland garden. There are over 2000 species of sedge...thus there is sure to be one for every garden situation.
Sedge 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...but it needs a bit more water than they do. 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 grass species such as palm sedge 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. Sedges perform great as container plants too. A few species of sedge (C. texensis and others) also make a decent lawn substitute.
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 ... plus they attract butterflies. 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. The first paper was made from a sedge called papyrus by the egyptians.
Check out our short article entitled : Carex - Fine Textural Sedges for the Perennial Shade Garden.