FutureStarr

Sedge Plant

Sedge Plant

Sedge Plant

Sedges are grass-like plants, grouped alongside ornamental grasses and rushes, although all of these plant types are botanically different. Distinguishing one from another is useful for the purpose of siting and planning garden planting, as each type has different growing requirements. True grasses mostly originate from open sunny environments, while sedges tolerate shade and extremes of moist or dry soil. Rushes do best in moist soil, boggy ground, or shallow water. Sedge plants, or sedges for short, are the most common plants in North America, occurring on damp or wet ground from the sea to the tree line. The plant grows 8 inches or taller, but can grow up to a foot indoors over winter. The sedge is perfect for tiny garden spaces.

Sedge

After touting the virtues of sedges for more than 20 years, I’m thrilled that these stalwart perennials are finally becoming popular. I’d be hard-pressed to name another plant genus that I think is more gardenworthy. Sedges have a grasslike appearance, but unlike most ornamental grasses, many perform as well or better in shade as they do in sun. For that reason, they can fill a useful design niche. Sedges are mostly grown for their bladelike foliage, which ranges from thin strands to thick straps in shades of green, bluish green, yellow, and copper. Their height ranges from several inches to 3 feet. Some gardeners consider the flowers non­descript, but I find many of them intriguing. They are generally subdued spikes in shades of tan or green that appear in spring before dense foliage growth kicks in.

Uses: This is a useful backbone for a mixed planting of ground covers. Interplant it with shooting stars (Dodecatheon meadia, Zones 4–8), spotted geranium (Geranium maculatum, Zones 4–8), Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum, Zones 4–9), and wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana, Zones 4–9). The subtle look they create when planted together resembles a naturally occurring plant community. Pennsylvania sedge is also useful in preventing soil erosion on a slope. Grasses, Sedges and Rushes all belong to the same plant family, that of Flowering plants (Angiosperms) and so are frequently confused with each other as they often have very similar characteristics. An old saying that often helps differentiate them – although it is not totally reliable – is: “Sedges have edges, rushes are round and grasses are hollow right up from the ground!” (Source: www.plant-ark.com)

 

 

 

Related Articles