Plants - Ornamental Grasses

Small-scale sedges for gardens of all sizes

These grasslike plants add texture and colour to any garden or container

All dimensions are height x width

Bronze hair sedge (Carex comans bronze form)

Zone 5, 20 x 35
Description: Fine, hairlike (1- to 2-mm-wide), pendant, bronze foliage; insignificant tan flowers. Full sun to part shade in well-drained soil
Comments: In colder zones, use as an annual in containers or borders; can be overwintered indoors in a cool, bright window. Native to New Zealand

Gold Fountains sedge (C. dolichostachya  ‘Kaga-nishiki’)

Zone 5, 25 x 40
Description: Mounding habit; thin, lacy foliage (3 to 4 mm wide) with medium green centre and gold edges; insignificant flowers. Full sun in moist soil, full shade in dry soil
Comments: Use as an accent plant or as groundcover. From the Gotemba Nursery, Japan

Carnation grass (C. flacca syn. C. glauca)

Zone 4, 15 x 25
Description: Thin leaves (4 mm wide) vary from glaucous to intense blue; flowers are purple-black. Full sun to full shade; dry soil will limit height and spread; tolerant of alkaline soil
Comments: Makes a terrific groundcover underneath shrubs with chartreuse or purple foliage. Native from Europe to Pakistan

Dwarf palm sedge (C. muskingumensis ‘Little Midge’)

Zone 4, 25 x 45
Description: Numerous narrow, green leaves radiate from central stems, giving this variety an undeniably tropical appearance; insignificant brown flowers. Full sun in moist soil, part shade in dry soil
Comments: Use as a groundcover or in clumps beside ponds and streams. Native to North America

‘On-line’ black sedge (C. nigra ‘On-line’ syn. ‘Variegata’)

Zone 4, 20 x 45
Description: Narrow (3- to 4-mm-wide), glaucous foliage with thin, pale yellow margins; small, black flowers in late spring. Part shade in moist soil
Comments: Often used in containers, for edging beds or as a groundcover. Native to Europe and North America

‘Evergold’ Japanese sedge (C. oshimensis ‘Evergold’)

Zone 5, 20 x 25
Description: Fine-textured foliage (up to 8 mm wide) with dark green margins and a creamy yellow median stripe; insignificant brown flowers in spring. Part to full shade; tolerant of dry soil.
Comments: Suitable as an accent plant, a groundcover or in containers. RHS Award of Garden Merit, 1993; native to Japan

Plantain-leaved sedge a.k.a. forest sedge (C. plantaginea)

Zone 4, 15 x 20
Description: Shiny, evergreen leaves (1.5 cm wide), with prominent parallel veins; striking deep mahogany flowers in early spring. Part to full shade in moist soil.
Comments: Combines well with woodland spring flowers (e.g., Hepatica and Trillium spp.). Native to North America

‘Lemon Zest’ sedge (C. siderosticha ‘Lemon Zest’)

Zone 5, 20 x 35
Description: Springtime lemon-yellow leaves (3 cm wide) gradually darken to a stunning chartreuse by midsummer; insignificant tan flowers in spring. Part to full shade in moist soil.
Comments: Great in containers, as edging or accent plants. A naturally occurring mutation of C. s. ‘Golden Falls’ syn. ‘Banana Boat’. Native from eastern Russia to Japan 

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