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Palm Sedge-Wisconsin Native Plamt

Carex muskingumensis

Palm Sedge

Benefits:    Bees, Birds, Butterflies
Bloom Time:    May, June
Sun Shade:    Full Sun, Partial Sun
Zones:    4, 5
Soil Conditions:    Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil Moisture:    Moist, Medium
Color:    Gold
Fragrance:    No
Height:    2 - 3 feet
Spacing:    1 foot

Palm Sedge (Carex muskingumensis) is a dense, clump-forming sedge which is grown for its foliage effect. Produces rigid, erect stems to 20 inches tall with 8-inch long, pointed, grass-like, light green leaves radiating from the stem tops. Commonly called palm sedge since the leaves somewhat superficially resemble miniature palm fronds. It is found most often in wooded swamps and on wooded flood plains of rivers. Insignificant flowers appear in May on terminal spikes which are not showy but are noticeable and of some interest and persist throughout the summer. Foliage promptly turns yellow after frost.

The blooming period occurs during the late spring to early summer. Each fertile female floret produces an achene about 2.0–2.5 mm. in length, which is oblongoid in shape and flattened. It is contained with the perigynium. Because the perigynia are very light, they are easily blown about by the wind or carried on water, thereby distributing the achenes. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous. This sedge forms vegetative offshoots from its rhizomes.

Habitats include swamps, soggy woodlands along rivers, and sedge meadows. This conservative sedge is usually found in shaded or partially shaded swampy areas where some of the original ground flora is still intact.

Easily grown in average, medium to wet soil in full sun to part shade. This species does well in some shade, but tends to flop in too much shade. Best in constantly moist, fertile soil, but will grow in shallow water (3-4" deep). Grows well away from water, but soil must not be allowed to dry out. Cut to ground in winter. Plants slowly naturalize by rhizomes in optimum growing conditions.

Plant Care and Notes:

  A good plant for the water garden.

  Container plants may be placed in shallow water to 4 inches.

  Birds eat the seeds or seedheads of sedges