Perry's Perennial Pages

Carex glauca (flacca)

    Perennial of the Month-- November 2001

(care' ex)

Common name: Blue Sedge

Family: Cyperaceae, Sedge

Height x width: 6-12" x 18"

Growth rate: moderate, gradually spreading with new shoots from rhizomes

Foliage: basal, bluish grass-like leaves, flat, thick ¼" wide; stems are triangular compared to rounded grass stems, flower stems are solid without nodes compared to grasses usually hollow with nodes; where blade and sheath join (ligule) is generally absent in sedges but conspicuous in grasses

Flowers: unisexual (separate male and female but on the same plant) compared to grasses with both parts on same flower, flowers insignificant

Hardiness: USDA zones 4-7

Soil: moist, tolerates range of types and moisture even drought once established

Light: sun, tolerates some shade

Pests and Problems: few serious

Landscape habit, uses: massing, fronts of borders, containers, rock gardens, erosion control, filtered shade under trees; combines nicely in front of, and between, many taller perennials such as rudbeckia, bee balms, daylilies, other upright or clumping grasses

Other interest: genus name from the Greek keiro meaning to cut, referring to the sharp edge of leaf margins; often found listed as species flacca, however this species is listed as glaucous beneath and dark green above--definitely not this plant

Other culture: low maintenance, easy to contain spread

Propagation: seed or spring division

Sources:   Kurt Bluemel, other specialty and complete perennial mail order and nurseries

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