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Carex - Sedge

Segge-Gras CarexSedges grab one’s attention, not due to their flowers or fruit, but with the variety of their foliage, which provides any garden with peace and depth. They can surround perennials and effectively fill gaps under trees or be planted at the edge of a pond. In green and yellow hues, they make it clear that a garden not only needs effective and perennial flowering plants, but green structural plants that give it a backbone.

Our assortment offers something for every garden. Although we commonly call these plants "grass", botanically speaking, they are not really "true" grasses. Sedges, with the botanical name of Carex, are instead from the Acacia Grass Family (Cyperaceae) and thus related to the well-known Real Papyrus which was processed in ancient Egypt into a kind of writing paper. The genus Carex is extremely diverse and includes around 2000 different species worldwide. The focus of their dissemination lies in North America, Europe and East Asia. They are "primal rocks" among the plants. There are said to be fossil plant finds, which prove that sedges have existed for an unimaginable 30 million years. You can then be proud to have such a primal plant in your garden!

Sedges

Most species have triangular foliage that is filled with pith. This is a simple feature that distinguishes sedge from other grasses. The botanical name Carex derives from the Latin "carectum", which means “reed bed”. In fact, you can find many endangered species of sedge in reed areas, which are even eponyms for various natural plant communities. The German name “Segge” derives from the Latin secare (= cut). It refers to the sometimes very sharp-edged leaves of this type of grass. The flowers are mostly inconspicuous with brownish-yellowish spikes, clusters or panicles. If you have an eye for detail, you will discover true beauties among the flowering sedges.

Sedge – An Attractive Grass for the Garden

Sedges cover a wide and distinctive spectrum of colours from yellow to blue-green to green-white to striped. The different species and varieties can also be combined excellently with each other. Among the various types are evergreens such as the Japanese sedge Carex morrowii `Variegata` or the broadleaf sedge Carex plantaginea with its wide, flat-growing leaves.

   
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Carex buchananii

Leatherleaf sedge

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Carex conica 'Snowline'

White-margined dwarf sedge 'Snowline'

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Carex foliosissima 'Icedance'

White-margined sedge

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No image available Carex foliosissima 'Irish Green'

Sedge

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Carex grayi

Mace sedge

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Carex hachijoensis 'Evergold'

Evergold sedge

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No image available Carex morrowii

Japanese sedge

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Carex morrowii 'Variegata'

Variegated sedge

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No image available Carex muskingumensis

Palm sedge

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Carex oshimensis 'Everest' -R-

White-margined dwarf sedge 'Everest'

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Carex pendula

Weeping sedge

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Carex plantaginea

Seersucker sedge

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While most of the sedges prefer locations in humus-rich, fresh soil in the shade, types such as the mountain sedge Carex montana can also handle sunny, drier locations. Carex remota, on the other hand, feels comfortable in the bank area of ​​the garden pond and can tolerate wet feet well. Carex conica 'Snowline', which stands out with its blue-green, white-striped foliage, has a high ornamental value. Sedges also thrive well in pots. In terms of their effect, higher species are particularly stunning as eye-catching solitaires in an entrance area or on a terrace. Lower species are suitable as ground cover for at the edge of shrubs. Brightly-coloured or white-striped varieties have a special charm: they visually highlight dark garden areas and set beautiful contrasts against evergreen woody plants such as yew. Beautiful companion plants for sedges include perennials such as bishop's hat or hostas or geraniums.

 

Cutting Back Sedge

The sedge is a grass that is durable and very easy to care for – it is ideal for areas that you do not want to spend too much time in caring for. The maintenance throughout the year requires very little effort. Once a dense plant cover has formed, weeds find it hard to grow between the clumps.

How do you cut varieties like the Morning Star sedge or Carex morrowii 'Ice Dance'? The answer is this: not at all! The two belong to those Carex species that are evergreen. With them, only the brown leaves need to be removed in the spring. In the spring, however, all summer green species should be cut about 5 cm above the ground before the new shoots start to grow. One of the summer green varieties is Carex siderosticha 'Variegata'. When pruning, be sure to always use pruning shears. The quickest way is to hold the clumps together with one hand and then make a clean cut with the other hand. It is also important to be careful with the sharp-edged leaves.

Dividing Sedge

Sedges appreciate compost in the spring. Later, if the clumps are bare on the inside, they can be divided, cleaned and replanted. Incidentally, if the sedge has brown leaves after the winter, it may be because it was too dry. In particular, the evergreen species should be watered occasionally during the winter on frost-free days.

It is really worthwhile to enrich any garden with sedges. They are extremely long-living, uncomplicated plants that can be enjoyed for many years without much care. Sedges are an often misunderstood grass, which are far too rarely used when planning gardens in our opinion. In particular, the wintergreen species offer an attractive opportunity to bring year-round greenery to your garden.

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