Carex pensylvanica - Pennsylvania Sedge

Forms a nice ground cover of soft clumps, making it suitable for use as a drought tolerant lawn in shady areas. It greens up early in the spring and grows very well in open woods and woodland margins. To use as a turf grass, mow 2-3 times a year, when about 3-4" tall. Makes a nice soft woodland groundcover.

Carex pensylvanica is native to eastern and central North America and is widely variable. It spreads by stolons (above ground runners).

Description: cool season; depending on the growing conditions this can be a slow to quick spreader
Foliage - bright green; narrow, slightly arching blades; 25 cm (10") in height if unmowed; evergreen in mild climates
Flowers - sparse and not showy; in May

Ideal conditions: full sun (if irrigated) to full shade; average soil; will grow in sandy soil

Coldest zone: 3 to 8 (find your zone; further info on plant hardiness)

Suggested uses: groundcover, lawn, along roads and highways in partial shade; containers, understory in a woodland garden

Partner with: Pycnanthemum muticum, Chasmanthium, Luzula, shade-loving perennials

Drought tolerance rating: 2 if in shade (water to root depth once every two weeks), further info

Best time to plant: fall or spring

Native to: forests of eastern and central North America; meadows that are wet in the spring

Recommended spacing between plants: 30-60cm (1-2') why such a difference?

Pronunciation: Carex (KAIR-ex) pensylvanica (pen-sill-VAN-i-ka)


More ornamental grasses

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


Carex pensylvanica - Pennsylvania Sedge
Carex pensylvanica - Pennsylvania Sedge

from the USDA website: states and provinces where
Carex pensylvanica is native