Sunshine Farm and Gardens: Rare and Exceptional Plants
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Rare and Exceptional Plants for the
Discriminating Gardener and Collector

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Caerx Grayi Carex Grayi

I love the pale green,  mace like flower heads that shoot up from the coarse textured clumps of Carex grayi  growing along my garden paths. These uniquely shaped,  mid Summer blooms contrast nicely with the grassy foliage that provides texture and interest the gardening season long.

Carex grayi is at the top of my "Idiot Proof" plant list and you can grow this baby just about anywhere including the damp shade that it chooses as its native home.

I've used Carex grayi in colonies around ponds,  where their reflections in the water make a dramatic appearance. The dark green color of the foliage is held well into Autumn.  Even in Winter,  the showy seed heads add an interesting look to an otherwise bleak landscape.  They've often found their way into my floral arrangements while still green,  and I've dried them to a creamy tan color for dried flower arrangements.

Propagation is simple by division and a two year old clump will yield dozens of ready-to-grow new plants that can be potted up or directly planted back into the garden.  Seeds can be collected and easily germinated, as Carex grayi forms colonies left to the plant's own devices.

Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom -
Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom - Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision - Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division - Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class - Liliopsida -- monocotyledons
Subclass - Commelinidae
Order - Cyperales
Family - Cyperaceae
Genus - Carex
Species - grayi
Common name - genus - "Sedge"
Common name - species - "Gray's Sedge"
Synonyms - none that I have found
Native of - Eastern US, see
USDA Hardiness Zone - zone 2,  wow talk about hardy!!!
Light preference - Light shade to full sun, almost anywhere
Soil preference - Average to rich
Moisture preference - Moist to average
Bloom time - Late Spring,  early Summer
Bloom color - Pale green
Foliage - Dark green,  glossy, grass like
Spread - 8" - 18"
Height - 12" - 36"
Landscape uses - Naturalizing in a light shade or full sun border or woodland garden
Medicinal uses - None that I have found

2002 Barry Glick and Sunshine Farm & Gardens

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Barry Glick, Sunshine Farm and Gardens
696 Glicks Rd, Renick, WV 24966, USA
Phone: (304) 497-2208

Last modified February 25, 2020