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Pennsylvania Sedge - Carex pensylvanica
The Pennsylvania Sedge, Carex pennsylvanica is a hardy grass-like plant that goes by several different names including Early Sedge, Sun Sedge, and Penn Sedge. It stands out among sedges because it does not require moist soil. It prefers the dry conditions and dappled shade that is found in its natural forest habitat where it often grows under oak trees, giving it another name, Oak Sedge. It will tolerate a wide range of conditions from wet to dry soil and from full sun to full shade.
Carex pennsylvanica is hardy from Zone 3 to 8. It gains between 3 and 8 inches of spread each year, making it an excellent choice for ground cover, especially in a dry, shady part of the garden. Pennsylvania Sedge can substitute for grass under challenging areas because it can be mowed to a height of 2 inches or left alone to create a flowing grassland. Its tiny yellow flowers come out in May and June, but they are easily overlooked, so this sedge works best as a backdrop for showier flowering plants. Although spreading will occur naturally, many gardeners choose to divide the plants each year to create dense stands, which are mainly striking in a rock garden. A low-growing, delicate sedge, it forms loose, feathery clumps up to 8 inches tall by 8 inches wide. Its narrow (1/8-inch) leaves arch gracefully from the center of the plant; flower spikes sprout up from the mound to a height of 12 inches. The plant is semi-evergreen in regions with moderately cold winters. Birds love sedges, and the Pennsylvania Sedge is no exception. It attracts many species that feed on the seeds and use the fallen leaves to make nests. This sedge is challenging to grow from seed, so it is best to purchase bare root plants for fastest growth.Pennsylvania Sedge, or Carex pensylvanica, grows low and bunched like grass. It gets a bunch of cocoa seed cases sticking high on the stem. In Spring and Summer, it has light green foliage that turns sandy-tan in Fall. It grows best in woodland or savannah with light textured soils.