Carex plantaginea (Plantain-leaved Sedge)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

The most ornamental of the woodland sedges, this species, sometimes referred to as Seersucker Sedge, is generally found in rich mountain woodlands. In the garden it can fill many roles, substituting for popular non-native plants and even tolerating difficult dry shaded sites.

Print Version (Legal Size): Carex plantaginea (Plantain-leaved Sedge)Grass / Sedge In the Mid-Atlantic Region, it is native to much of NY and to northern and western PA. In MD, it is found only in Montgomery and Garrett Counties. In VA, it is rare in the Piedmont (except for Fairfax and Loudoun Counties) and infrequent in the mountains. Height: 1⁄2–1 foot Spread: 1–2 feet Bloom Color: Maroon and green Characteristics Evergreen perennial clump-forming sedge Broad, strap-like lime green leaves with three prominent veins and a puckered surface Maroon and green striped two-foot culms bear purplish staminate and pistillate spikelets in March Achene fruit matures by mid-summer Spreads slowly from short rhizomes Attributes Tolerates rocky or alkaline soil and dry shade No serious pests or diseases Deer rarely damage Winter interest Larval host for butterflies; birds eat seeds Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Rich, fertile soil Light Requirements: Partial Shade, Shade Water Requirements: Moist Cut back in late winter before new growth beginsPropagate by dividing established clumpsUse as a ground cover, to control erosion on shady slopes, as a woodland trail border, or massed with other shade garden plants Hardiness: USDA Zones 3–8 Excellent Replacement for Hosta – Hosta Liriope muscari - Lilyturf Ophiopogon japonicus - Mondo Grass

Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets