Carex grass varieties may look like grasses however they are actually sedges. They are a varied group with different landscaping uses, foliage colours and growth requirements.
Nearly all are grown for the foliage rather than the flowers. With origins in New Zealand, Australia, North America as well as in Asia, it is only those from the later group the have prominent flowers.
Used as ornamental grass, they are also important in revegetation and land reclamation.
With over 20 species from Australia and many more from other countries this is a wide genus of plants, many that are garden worthy.
How to use Carex Varieties
Characterised by strong fibrous root systems they are useful as storm water biofilters. Carex appressa is widely used for this purpose.
As decorative plants for containers, some with colourful or interesting foliage are well suited. Carex elate ‘aurea’ with its arching yellow foliage, along with Carex ‘frosted curls’ are two such varieties.
Being low maintenance, they are also useful for mass planting.
Talk to you local nursery about which varieties suited to your landscaping project and climate zone.
As a group these grass like plants are often referred to as ‘Sedges’ or ‘tussocks’, especially the Australian varieties. Nearly all Carex species prefer full sun, however they will also thrive in seasonally damp, wet or boggy conditions and moist grassy woodlands.
Species differ in habit from low growing 20cm to taller species 50cm plus all are tussock forming. Carex oppressa or Tall Sedge is used as an ornamental grass in damp conditions and will reach 70 – 80 cm.
Ornamental Carex varieties
Some Carex species are used as ornamental grasses.
The Japanese species Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’ is is a variegated form with attractive green and pale yellow foliage. Naturally clump forming and reaching around 20cm in height it makes a great border plant. Lots of cultivars with names such as ‘Everest’ which is a little taller growing.
Carex brunnea is another Japanese species that will reach around 60cm in height, available both in green and variegated forms.
Carex comas ‘Frosted Curls’ is commonly called the ‘New Zealand Hair Sedge’, very fine foliage with a tufting habit. Fast growing and a a good ground cover plant.
Carex species include:
- C. appressa
- C. breviculmis to 20cm
- C. fascicularis or ‘Tassel Sedge’
- C. inversa. ‘Knob sedge’
- C. tasmanica ‘Curly Sedge’ to to 50c
- C. pumila Murray Strand Sedge or ‘spreading sedge’
- C. gaudichaudiana. to 70 cm.Carex glauca to 20 cm. Best in semi shade Blue green foliage.
- C. pendula (Drooping Sedge) to 80 cm.
- C. morrovii ‘Evergold’
- C. Island Brocade.
Carex varieties are available for sale form the following nurseries
'Umbango' 750 Humula Rd, Humula NSW 2652
Phone 0408692773 Great Range of Perennial plants available for sale by mail order.
Large variety of Epimediums, Woodland plants and Herbaceous perennials
Mail order or nursery. We do not send to Tasmania or WA
138 Olinda-Monbulk Rd, Olinda VIC 3788
"Large range of rare and unusual plants.."
862 Midland Highway Mount Rowan Vic 3352
We offer over 245 varieties of Fuchsia, tubestock, pots, baskets and standards. Mail order specialists. Open 7 days by appointment.
52 Rodd St Canowindra NSW 2804
An online nursery specialising in drought and frost tolerant perennials and fragrant, edible and herbs.