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Carex pensylvanica

Common Name(s):
Oak sedge, Pennsylvania sedge, Rush, Sedge
Categories:
Groundcover, Native Plants, Perennials
Comment:

Pennsylvania sedge is native to thickets and dry woodland areas in North America.  It is commonly found near oak trees, hence on of its common names "oak sedge".  It grows in loose colonies and has a creeping habit with its reddish brown roots.   Tolerates heavy shade and wet soils  though its ideal location is dry shade.   It forms an ideal turf alternative in dry shade areas needing mowing only once or twice a sesaon to maintain a 2" height.   Also makes a great underplanting for taller perennials.  It is semi-evergreen, dying back under very cold temperatures.  Idenfitification of individual sedge (Carex) speices can be difficult.  

 

Smut, rust, and leaf spot, are occasional problems. No serious insect or disease problems. 

Season:
May
Height:
8"
Flower Color:
insignificant
Foliage:
Delicate, arching, 1/8" wide leaflets, 8-12" long medium green grass-like
Flower:
Flowers bloom in May. Plants are monoecious, male flowers appear in spiklets above the female flowers. Inflorescences are at the tip of rough, triangular stems. Staminate scales are green with reddish-purple with white margins. Pistillate scales are dark brown to purple-black with green midribs and white margins.
Zones:
3-8
Habit:
clumping
Site:
prefers dry shade, but can survive in poorly drained soils
Propagation:
rhizomes, does not grow well from seed
Fruit:
achene
Regions:
mountains, piedmont
Origin:
United States, Canada
Tags:
wet soils, rush, raingarden, sedge, native sedge, lawn alternative, heavy shade, rain garden

NCCES plant id: 2880

Carex pensylvanica Carex pensylvanica plant
Per Verdonk, CC BY-NC-2.0
Carex pensylvanica Carex pensylvanica budding plant
Erutuon, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Carex pensylvanica Carex pensylvanica beginning to flower
Erutuon, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Carex pensylvanica Carex pensylvanica buds
Eruton, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Carex pensylvanica Carex pensylvanica flower
Anne Gould, CC BY-NC-2.0