Plant Profile: Carex

This plant is one of those often overlooked and underused plants in our landscapes.

Carex looks like a mop of low-growing grass, but it is actually a member of the sedge family. There are native and non-native varieties, as well as a number of new cultivars.

It is perennial and looks good in all seasons. Depending on the variety you choose, it can thrive in either wet or dry conditions and from full sun to part shade.
Carex is a low-care plant. In late winter, you may need to rake out fall leaves that get caught in its interior and cut back any foliage that looks tattered and worn.
Best of all, carex is deer-resistant and has few critter issues, though my cat, Santino, likes to take nibble on the blades occasionally.

Carex blooms in early spring, but the flowers are of minor interest. The real attraction is the foliage, which come in every shade of green and also variegated.

Use this versatile plant as a groundcover, an accent plant, and in containers.

Popular varieties of carex available at local garden centers include ‘Everillo,’ ‘Ever Gold’, and ‘Ice Dance.’

Try planting a few carex in your garden today – you can grow that!


The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine and edited by intern Emily Coakley.
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