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Grassy Plants have a Place, Too!

Diversity counts and offers special purpose and structure in your native landscape creations. Forbs (flowering perennials) are the mainstay and dominant plants in native gardens. Grasses, sedges, ferns, horsetails and rushes should also be considered. Many have special powers that enrich the aesthetics as well as the ecological functions of a landscape. Here, I feature one such sedge for your consideration.

Muskingum or Palm Sedge, Carex muskingumensis

Cultivation: Muskingum Sedge prefers partial sun to light shade but will tolerate sunny conditions. Best used in wet to moist conditions but will do fine in mesic conditions. It will grow expansively in a fertile loamy soil. Its natural habitats include swamps, soggy woodlands along rivers, and sedge meadows. This sedge is usually found in shaded or partially shaded swampy areas.

Form: Because the widely spreading leaf blades are densely arranged along the entire length of the stems in three distinct directions, this species is also called 'Palm Sedge.' The common name, 'Muskingum Sedge,' references a river in Ohio. Plants are clump forming and may form loose colonies making it useful for slope or bank stabilization. It competes well in favorable habitats potentially forming uniform stands.

Landscaping: Palm Sedge is widely-used in home landscaping for its attractive "palm" formation, clumping behavior and ability to tolerate full sun or full shade. It would make a good ground cover 1-2 ft. tall. It is easy to grow and care for.

Ecological Value: The caterpillars of several moths, skippers, and butterflies feed on the foliage of Carex species. Palm Sedge can develop dense stands that provide significant cover to wildlife during the summer. Many birds eat the seeds or seed-heads of sedges.

This plant is available at Can You Dig IT! on October 2nd. A few tickets remain. Register HERE

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