Carex pensylvanica

Pennsylvania Sedge, Carex pensylvanica is a popular lawn alternative for home landscaping, with fine textured green blades cerates a lush carpet. Highly adaptable to any soil. Ideal for shady slopes and erosion protection. Zones 3-8, part sun/shade, 12″ tall x 12″ wide at maturity.


To clarify: Sedges have edges, Rushes are round & Grasses have nodes from the top to the ground.  Grasses do not have edges on their stems and are mostly hollow except for the nodes which are small sections of the stem that help hold the plant together.

Pennsylvania Sedge is a shade-loving perennial sedge that is native to thickets and dry woodland areas, dry to mesic upland forests and shaded bluff ledges. It typically grows in loose colonies with a creeping habit. Roots are reddish brown. It is often found in areas with oak trees, hence the additional common name of oak sedge.

Capable of colonizing disturbed sites it is a good groundcover for dry shade. Underplanting for shade perennials. Lawn substitute for dry soils in shady areas (forms a turf that never needs mowing or mow 2-3 times per year to 2″ tall). Provides cover for migratory fowl, sandhill cranes, and ducks (who also use the leaves for nesting material). It is also used by sharptail grouse and prairie chickens for nesting, cover, and dancing grounds.

Erosion Control. Ornamental: The leaves are soft and fine textured with an arching habit. As a lawn substitute it is tolerant of mowing — once or twice a year — and has moderate salt tolerance.

SPECS: Genus: Carex ; Species: Pensylvanica; Plant Type: Sedge; Life Cycle: Perennial; Sun Exposure: Full Shade; Soil Moisture: Mesic (middle), Medium Dry, Dry, Well Drained; Height: 1′; Spread: 1′; Plant Spacing: 1′; Bloom Time: April — June; Bloom Color: Brown, Green, White; Advantages: Grassland restoration, Lawn alternative, Low maintenance, Nitrogen fixer; USDA Zone: 3 — 7; Attracts: Beneficial insects, Butterflies, Moths; Tolerant: Wet soils; Plant Community: Companion and understudy plants: Try pairing with Antennaria neglecta, Chrysogonum virginianum, Heuchera americana 'Dales Strain', Iris cristata 'Tennessee White', Phlox divaricata, Tiarella cordifolia or Polystichum acrostichoides.;