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Carex normalis

Description

Greater straw sedge is a native perennial sedge in the Cyperaceae family.  The genus name Carex is Latin for "cutter" referring to the sharp leaves and stems and normalis  means "right angles" again referring to the leaves.

Plant it in the full sun to partial shade though it tolerates deep sage.  It needs rich moist to wet soils and especially moist if planted in the full sun. Some temporary flooding is tolerated.  This sedge has a clumping habit but can also spread out in the landscape if there is room.  

To maintain the shape of this plant, cut it back to the ground each winter.  It will self-seed easily and can also spread by underground rhizomes.  This plant is resistant to browsing by deer.  Mass plant this sedge as a groundcover or use it as an accent or specimen plant.  It works well in a border front and can withstand the shade of woodland garden plantings. Its like of wet feet make ideal for riparian areas, rain gardens, or pond margins.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems.  

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#water garden#rain garden#specimen#accent plant#mass planting#pond margins#NC native#deer resistant#self-seeding#naturalized area#border front#native sedge#wet soils tolerant#woodland garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#water garden#rain garden#specimen#accent plant#mass planting#pond margins#NC native#deer resistant#self-seeding#naturalized area#border front#native sedge#wet soils tolerant#woodland garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Carex
    Species:
    normalis
    Family:
    Cyperaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North central and eastern U.S.A. and eastern Canada
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Ornamental Grasses and Sedges
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Creeping
    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 Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasional Flooding
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is tiny achenes surrounded by bracts in early summer.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Spike
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Insignificant green flowers on tufted spikes appear late spring to mid-summer. The inflorescence consists of tightly packed spikes on multibranched stems.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Narrow linear leaves that resemble grass blades that are 1/4" wide and 2 feet long that sheath the stem. Green-veined usually with white intervals.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Angular
    Stem Description:
    Triangular shaped green culms
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Pond
    Riparian
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Heavy Shade
    Wet Soil