Carex Varieties

Bronze Form, Bronze New Zealand Hair Sedge, Bronze Perfection

There are many varieties to choose from in the genus Carex. Some are stately ornamental grasses with delicate, curved blades in golden brown to copper colours, while others grow regimentally upright in shades of brown.

The Carex varieties in shades of brown and khaki that look almost like dry veld grass, are currently most fashionable and are being used in garden design to create natural-looking, low-maintenance ‘veld grass’ gardens. They are also planted in rockeries, and en masse around focal plants with strong forms, as well as interesting tree stumps and garden sculptures.

Carex comans bronze

Commonly known as Bronze New Zealand Hair Sedge or Bronze Perfection. This is without doubt a favourite, especially if you want dramatic bronze colour year-round in the garden. Plant thick swathes of it around big aloes, agaves and Euphorbia Tirucalli, or in between smaller aloes or large, smooth river stones. Hardy. Mature size about 40 x 50 cm.

Carex hachijoensis ‘Evergold’

Commonly known as Japanese Sedge, ‘Evergold’ has creamy yellow and green variegated foliage. It is excellent  in light shade in the foreground of flowerbeds. Semi hardy. Mature size about 20 x 30 cm. These grasses make lovely ground covers around plants with strong forms.

Carex oshimensis ‘Everillo’

‘Everillo’ is a clump-forming evergreen sedge to 60cm tall, producing lime-green to yellow foliage that gradually deepens to golden-yellow as the season progresses. Upright pale to dark brown flower spikes appear in early summer. Plant in full sun to semi shade. Cold and Frost hardy.

It is extremely versatile for adding a bit of drama to shady spots, or when used in containers with its cascade of lime yellow foliage.

Most suitable climate for Carex

Carex grasses grow in any climate and are relatively frost hardy. Those with variegated foliage and broader leaves could suffer some damage from severe frost.

What Carex need

Location: full sun or light shade;

Soil: free-draining soil;

Water: require regular watering;

Fertilizing and maintenance: for lush growth it is usually sufficient to add compost and bone meal to the soil when planting. Cut them back quite heavily if they start looking untidy.

In a nutshell

  • Easy to cultivate.
  • Low maintenance, medium water consumption.
  • Excellent for contrast.
  • Evergreen.
  • Ideal for mass planting.
The Gardener