Carex plantaginea -  plantain-leaf sedge

Once again I am featuring a member of the genus Carex.  The one pictured here is the plaintain-leaf or seersucker sedge.   I have come to admire its broad, evergreen leaves, drought tolerance (once established) and ease of culture.  It adds a spiky texture to the garden and is especially effective planted with ferns and other delicately textured plants.  This plaintain-leaf sedge varies in height depending on conditions, from 8" to 12" tall with a similar spread.   I have found them particularly nice planted at the base of trees or on inclines where leaf litter tends to be thinner.  When they are happy they will spread by seed and forms sizable clumps in a somewhat random pattern, as is seen in this picture of them growing in situ in Highlands, NC.  Once planted and established, I find I rarely need to do anything else to it.  If I do decide to dig and divide it and move it to other sections of the garden, it responds beautifully by making similar sized clumps in only a few years.  One mature clump can often be divided into 5 or more smaller clumps. I simply dig them, pull the clumps apart into much smaller ones and plant them immediately. I find I don't need to worry if there are only a few roots, they quickly make new ones.  I plant it, water it in and it never misses a beat.  Another winner!

Gregg's Plant of the Month - June


Gregory D. Tepper

Horticultural Services

  • Check out my favorite plants list

  • Read cool native plant anecdote

  •  See my plant photo gallery
  • Professional horticultural advice

  • Let 25 years of gardening guide you 

  • Choose the right plants & be HAPPY!

  • Over 20 years of lecture experience

  • Fun, fascinating and informative  

  • See the list of available lectures