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Carex buchananii is often confused with:
Carex albula Carex albula 'Frosty Curls'
Native alternative(s) for Carex buchananii:
Carex cherokeensis Spring form in bloom
Carex grayi Gray’s Sedge
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Carex comans Carex comans
Carex conica 'Snow Line' Carex conica
Carex cherokeensis Spring form in bloom
Carex buchananii has some common insect problems:
Aphids on Ornamental Landscape Plants

Sedges Carex buchananii

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
KAIR-eks boo-kah-NAN-ee-eye
Description

Leatherleafsedge is a low maintenance cool season grass in the Cyperaceae (sedge) family native to New Zealand. The name Carex is Latin for "cutter" in reference to the sharp triangular stem edges found on most members of this genus. With its coppery bronze fine textured leaves that curl at the tops, it slowly grows in arching clumpings to 2 feet tall and wide.

Plant in full sun though it will tolerate partial shade.  Soils should be organically rich, moist, and well-draining, as it will not tolerate overly wet soils, especially in the winter.  Mulch the soil to keep moisture in and regulate the temperature.  Prune to about 1/3 height in the late spring to rejuvenate and remove dead leaves in the summer, depending on winter temperatures this plant may be an annual, or it may regrow in the spring.  Propagate leatherleaf sedge by division in early spring or by seed.  This sedge self seeds easily, though it can be slow to grow after transplanting, and it is resistant to browsing by deer.

With its showy colorful leaves that have excellent fall color and winter interest, this sedge provides contrast to any green leaved plant in the landscape. Use it as an accent plant in a rain garden, or mass plant it in the front of a border or along a walkway.  It looks equally handsome peaking out between rocks, dotted in a meadow planting, or used for its light hair like texture in any large container planting.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Aphids are occasional pests.  This plant is relatively disease free.  It can be somewhat short lived.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Red Rooster'
    Red copper leaves
'Red Rooster'
Tags:
#rain garden#perennials#wildlife plant#sedge#low maintenance#winter interest#fall interest#ornamental grass#accent plant#interesting leaves#mass planting#disease resistant#deer resistant#cool season grass#rock garden#self-seeding#pollinator plant#clumping#short lifespan#larval host plant#border front#walkway planting#butterfly friendly#HS302#various satyr butterfly#container plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Red Rooster'
    Red copper leaves
'Red Rooster'
Tags:
#rain garden#perennials#wildlife plant#sedge#low maintenance#winter interest#fall interest#ornamental grass#accent plant#interesting leaves#mass planting#disease resistant#deer resistant#cool season grass#rock garden#self-seeding#pollinator plant#clumping#short lifespan#larval host plant#border front#walkway planting#butterfly friendly#HS302#various satyr butterfly#container plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Carex
    Species:
    buchananii
    Family:
    Cyperaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    New Zealand
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant supports various Satyr larvae.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ornamental Grasses and Sedges
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Clumping
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are small and insignificant, this plant is grown for its leaves.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Sheath
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Rosulate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Copper to red to bronze hair line fine leavesles than 1/2" wide and 18 to 24 inches long that curl at the end.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Angular
    Stem Description:
    Triangular stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Meadow
    Rock Wall
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Rock Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Diseases
    Drought