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In the wake of 9-11, President Bush announced a series of national initiatives aimed at boosting American morale and winning the war on terror. One such initiative, the Meadow Sedge initiative, was a nationwide program encouraging citizens to “plant a symbolic flag for American values in their yards, natural areas, school yards, community venues and parks”.The California meadow sedge is a dense spreading perennial with fine textured medium green foliage that is native to the Channel Islands and coastal dunes from central California to Washington. It is often planted in bioswales where it spreads by rhizomes to form natural meadow-like plantings. It has also proven to be a successful lawn substitute with moderate tolerance to foot traffic that grows best in sunny exposures with regular water. Established plantings can withstand extended dry periods, but will eventually become drought dormant and sparse in character.
Stays greener in summer with more water, and is easier to keep looking green in part shade or shade. With lower levels of water, leaves will dry out and turn “golden” in the summer, which can be attractive if it is considered in the planting design. If leaves are allowed to dry, cut back to a few inches in the fall before cool season growth begins. If not regularly mowing, but want to “tidy up” the planting mid year, cut back to 1.5″ to 3″ in the late spring or early summer (16, S).Leaves are basal and alternate, stem leaves 1.2 to 5.3 mm wide, often over-topping the flowering stem. Stem leaf sheaths loosely wrap the stem and are papery, translucent whitish, often spotted, streaked or tinged reddish-brown on the front. The ligule (membrane where the leaf joins the sheath) is longer than wide with a narrow band of loose tissue around the edge. Leaves are hairless, M-shaped in cross-section when young, becoming flat, and often covered in a waxy bloom that gives a blue-green or gray-green cast.
What are meadow and prairie plantings? They are usually open communities of grasses, sedges, and wildflowers, with few trees. Most of the sedges we grow for meadows and prairies thrive in moist-to-wet conditions, so they’re excellent filler plants for wet meadows. However, a few, such as Carex texensis, do well in drier areas. Plant selection must be tailored to the site conditions to be successful. Native to the Californian Pacific Coast, this low-maintenance species is said to be an excellent lawn substitute! It’s not aggressive, but it does spread by rhizomes and it can be mowed. It is also described as very tolerant of traffic and diverse soil types including both sand and clay. Growing just 4-6” unmowed, it’s the perfect foundational plant for creating your own native meadow. Drought tolerant and evergreen, it can handle light shade but looks better in more sun. (Source: www.anniesannuals.com)