Carex dipsacea - Autumn Sedge

Here in Zone 4/5, we must be more patient growing this plant to its full potential. It seems to thrive where winters are cool and wet. It has pleasant colour changes throughout the seasons, but most notable is the mounded form and texture.

In its native New Zealand, Carex dipsacea grows in swamps, bogs, damp river flats, grasslands and forest and can withstand temporary flooding.

Description: cool season; clump forming; semi-evergreen
Foliage - olive green with bronze highlights, reddish-orange during cool weather; narrow, arching blades; 30-45 cm (12-18")
Flowers - June; dark brown; shorter than foliage; 45-60 cm (18-24")

Ideal conditions: full sun to light shade; moist to wet fertile soil

Coldest zone: 5 (find your zone; further info on plant hardiness)

Suggested uses: massing, rock garden, edging, container, ground cover

Partner with: sun-loving hostas, Inula racemosa, Salix elaeagnos 'Angustifolia', Festuca mairei

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

Season of interest: from early spring on

Best time to plant: fall or spring

Native to: New Zealand

Recommended spacing between plants: 60-100cm (24-40'') why such a difference?

Pronunciation: Carex (KAIR-ex) dipsacea (dip-SAY-see-ah)


More ornamental grasses

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


Carex dipsacea - Autumn Sedge
Carex dipsacea - Autumn Sedge
Photo courtesy Janus Gardens