PNW Landscape Plant Guide

brought to you by the plant geeks at Calendula Farm

Sedges (Carex spp.)

Sedges are a huge family of grasses that are versatile and adaptable and beautiful in any landscape. We regularly use two in particular that offer punchy color & soft textures year round and require very little care. Sedges are found all over the world and are a critical member of wetland and stream ecologies.

Sedges as aesthetic elements in a garden or landscape are wonderfully versatile too. They are typically evergreen and come in a range of colors from coppery orange to steely blue-green to bright chartreuse yellow and emerald green. They are usually fairly short tufting mounds from 10″-24″ tall.

Our two favorites are Orange Sedge (Carex testacea) and Blue Sedge (Carex flacca).

Orange Sedge stays as a stand-alone fountain of graceful slender leaves 18″-24″ tall. Its new growth emerges bright emerald green changing to coppery orange. It is a delightfully rich, warm color spot throughout our wet grey winters here in the PNW.

Blue Sedge offers a steely blue-green evergreen, nicely textured mat of color. We use it as a repetitive visual element in a landscape. It wants to spread into a patch of itself so it eventually functions as a weed inhibiting ground cover as well. Blue Sedge is remarkably tough and is able to thrive in a very wet environment but is also drought tolerant once established.