Carex Pensylvanica

Oak Sedge, Sedge

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Plant Code: CAPV

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This graceful but tough little Sedge, native to meadows, develops dense roots making it perfect for erosion control on a shady bank. The arching bright green narrow foliage forms tight fountain-like clumps that spread slowly. Birds will feast on brown seed capsules that cling to the top of stems. With sufficient moisture, this variety can tolerate more sun than other Carex.

Carex Pensylvanica is most effective when planted in masses. May be used as a lawn substitute to cover large areas. Never needs mowing; but if desired, mow 2-3 times per year to 2 tall. Provides shelter for birds.


Type: Perennials, Grasses
Height: Short 8-10"
Spacing: Plant 10" apart
Bloom Time: Not Applicable
Sun-Shade: Half Sun / Half Shade to Full Shade
Zones: 4-8   Find Your Zone
Soil Condition: Normal, Clay, Acidic
Flower: Not Applicable
Accent: Not Applicable
Pot Size: 3.5" square x 4" deep

Features to Note

  • For a Slope or Bank
  • Deer Resistant
  • Edgers
  • OK in Containers
  • Shade Tolerant
  • Wet Site Tolerant
  • Winter Interest

Carex General Information

Carex is a huge genus of more than 1,500 species of perennials with triangular, grass-like stems. On mature plants, tiny brown seedheads may develop on panicles of short spikes. Suited to many sites, Sedge will tolerate wet and/or shade well. Excellent in foreground or as an edger. Spreads slowly. Grass-like, colorful foliage is often brightly hued or variegated. Supplemental watering may be necessary for top performance.

Carex Plant Care

Sedge prefers a moist, well-drained soil with part shade. Very easy to maintain, Carex requires little if any feeding and in early spring, cut back by 1/3 or simply tease out dead blades to spruce up appearance. If preferred, foliage may be cut to ground in early spring before the new growth emerges. Division is best done in the spring.