Carex aurea - Golden Sedge, Wet Meadow Sedge

As the common name Wet Meadow Sedge suggests, Carex aurea is very useful in wet areas such as meadows, ditches, along streambanks for erosion control, around ponds and water features and is especially nice for the new 'rain gardens'.

In any damp to wet landscape, this fine textured sedge will form dense colonies of light green foliage, with conspicuous yellow-orange seedheads.

Description: cool season; slowly spreading out in all directions
Foliage is light green, pleated; 25-30cm (10-12") tall
Flowers - June-Aug; 30-40cm (12-16") or more in height
Form - foliage is arching; flowers more upright, some arching

Ideal conditions: full sun to light shade; needs an ample supply of moisture

Zones: 3 to 9, probably colder (find your zone; further info on plant hardiness)

Season of interest: early summer through fall

Partner with: coppiced Salix purpurea, Carex flacca, Molinia species, Valeriana, Scirpus

Suggested uses: massed or in groups; rain gardens; alongside streams and ponds; damp areas; in containers; specimen

When to plant and divide: early spring, early fall

Drought tolerance rating: 3 (water to root depth every week) further info

Native to: Europe

Recommended spacing between plants: 30cm (12")

Pronunciation: Carex (KAIR-ex) aurea (ore-EE-uh)

Sizes available: 4" pot size field clump


More ornamental grasses

Compare Carex aurea to our other grasses in this handy chart.

Carex aurea -
Carex aurea - Golden Sedge, Wet Meadow Sedge
Photo credit: Jelitto