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Mace Sedge Carex grayi

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
KAIR-eks GRAY-eye
Description

A low maintenance rush or sedge in the Cyperaceae family.  Works well on sites prone to erosion when using bioswales,  also tolerates wet soils such as floodplains, swamps and bottomland forests..  Grows best in full sun but will tolerate light shade.  The plant propagates by seeds in the fall or root division in the spring. It makes an excellent addition to a rain garden and is impactful in the landscape when planted in large groups. It can also be grown in containers. The Carex grayi seed heads are a wonderful unexpected pale-green with earmarks of being spiked clubs that have a long bloom time from spring to fall being attractive in both fresh and dried flower arrangements.  If the dried fruits remain on the plant they add winter interest to the garden.  

Seasons of Interest:

    Bloom: Spring-Fall, May-October  Fruit: Summer-Winter

Wildilfe Value: Tolerates damage by deer.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No insect or disease problems.  It does not preform well in dry soils.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#rain garden#container plant#cut flowers#rush#sedge#low maintenance#winter interest#erosion control#wet sites#dried flowers#cpp#NC native#deer resistant#native ornamental grass#food source summer#food source herbage#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#wet soils tolerant#food source hard-mast fruit#HS302
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#rain garden#container plant#cut flowers#rush#sedge#low maintenance#winter interest#erosion control#wet sites#dried flowers#cpp#NC native#deer resistant#native ornamental grass#food source summer#food source herbage#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#wet soils tolerant#food source hard-mast fruit#HS302
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Carex
    Species:
    grayi
    Family:
    Cyperacea
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    E. Canada to N. Central & E. U.S.A
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 5 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Ornamental Grass
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Good Dried
    Long Bloom Season
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    It has a long bloom time from spring to fall producing greenish yellow to brown seed heads that look like spiked clubs and are attractive in both fresh and dried flower arrangements. If the dried fruits remain on the plant they add winter interest to the garden. Displays from June to September
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Blooms from May to June.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Hairs Present:
    No
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Meadow
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Rain Garden
    Winter Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Wet Soil