Carex pensylvanica and its shorter cousin, ‘Straw Hat’, are North American native perennial sedges that stand out as great groundcovers and bright spots in shady areas. Where traditional turf fails, this sedge survives and thrives. In fact, C. pensylvanica is often called oak sedge for its ability to thrive under the tough, thick canopy beneath old oak trees.
C. pensylvanica stands out for its soft, gently curling foliage, which turns a lovely pale brown for the winter. ‘Straw Hat’s low, thick mound of narrow, grass-like medium green foliage is topped by cap of copious sulphur-yellow flowers that are much more prominent than those of the species. Early spring pollinators love these Carexes.
Petite at just 8 to 10 inches, try these Carex in masses to soften and brighten landscapes, or plant under shrubs and perennials for added interest. Great in containers too! Carex pensylvanica prefers partial shade to shade and is hardy in Zones 4 to 9.