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Carex plantaginea (seersucker sedge)

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Technical sheet - Carex
Species Distribution Map: Click to enlarge
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Carex plantaginea

seersucker sedge

Shiny deep green leaves are unusually broad (to 1 1/8") and puckered like Christmas ribbon. An excellent, mostly evergreen (the basal foliage overwinters) groundcover for average to moist shade, provides unique texture. Flowers occur in early to mid-spring, thin and black-tipped, not especially showy. Found in moist woods from Canada to Alabama.

Carex plantaginea LP32 - 32 per flat Availability
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8-10 Inches


10-12 Inches


10 Inches

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 4-8

seersucker sedge Interesting Notes

Unlike other woodland sedges, Carex plantaginea has bold textural contrast with broad shiny deep green leaves that are puckered like ribbon. Growing about 6-12” tall and 12” wide, seersucker sedge grows well in dry shade, making it a wonderful clumping groundcover and problem solver. The almost-evergreen foliage is a constant in the landscape with light purple-brown flowers arriving in early spring.

Carex plantaginea grows in rich deciduous forests in the eastern United States up to Canada. While it excels in moist shaded sites in calcareous soils, it can adapt to difficult dry shaded sites quite well. Seersucker sedge does well in light to medium shade in the garden and should be cut back in late winter to maintain its bright appearance.

The trial gardens have a few difficult dry shade locations and we love to experiment to see which Carex spp performs the best. In an area beneath a spruce tree, we have a mixed planting of Carex plantagineaCarex pensylvanicaCarex platyphylla and Heuchera americana ‘Dale’s Strain’ and love the way seersucker sedge contrasts with the running Carex pensylvanica and the mottled color of the Heuchera in the fall. A great forage for local wild birds and insects, sedges are a true workhorse in the garden.

Carex plantaginea Growing and Maintenance Tips

Grows well in part or full shade in moist to average soil. Tolerates a dry shady site, but will not spread as freely.

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Shade
Full Shade
Part Sun
Part Sun
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Early Spring
Early Spring

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Green Infrastructure
Lawn Alternative
Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Native to North America
Propagation Type
Tissue culture
Grass Type
Cool Season