Home>Native Plant Resource Center>Upper Peninsula Native Plants>Native Grasses, Rushes, and Sedges Grasses and sedges perform many important environmental functions. Add native pond plants to your garden shopping list, as … Andropogon gyrons (Elliott's broom-sedge): Found in dry or moist fields in eastern states. © 2020 Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. Carex appalachica is well-loved for its adaptability and its ability to grow in a wide range of conditions – including the shade. Carex is the largest genus of organisms in West Virginia . More Information: Virginia Native Plant Society’s 2010 Wildflower of the Year; ... I’ve come across wild stonecrop growing on sloped woods with Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica) and although it was not a dense growth, it was nonetheless enchanting. Appalachian sedge, or Carex appalachica, is a perennial sedge that grows in small 12 inch green tufts. Thanks to Virginia Native Plant Society and Rod Simmons for sharing this information. They help create humus in the soil with their roots and leaves while holding slopes in place and protecting streambanks and other water edges from eroding. Some homeowners use Carex pensylvanica as a lawn substitute as it does well in dry conditions, tolerates heavy shade, and is resistant to deer grazing. Northern Virginia native plants are easy to maintain and save time and money. Sedges have edges (most sedges have distinctly triangular-shaped stems, although their leaves can be flat) and rushes are round (almost all rush stems are cylindrical in shape). Read on for more fox sedge information. This publication describes and illustrates 48 grasses and 10 sedges native to Georgia. Native plant gardens can also be grown in small spaces. ... Grasses, sedges, and rushes have upright straplike leaves and small non–showy flowers. Plant NoVA Natives makes using native plants in the Northern Virginia landscape easy and fun, reaching out to homeowners, partnering with garden centers and supporting community leaders. There are grass-like members of the Carex family suitable for shade, sun, moist and dry areas. Ferns. It is a host plant for several woodland butterflies and a food source for birds. On the other hand, if both the stem and leaves of the plant are flat, it is very likely to be a grass. Editors: Steven Bell, Margaret Brown, Brigitte Coulton, Kimberly Marsho, Marsha Mercer,  & Christa Watters It is not the intent of the authors to describe all native grasses and sedges, but those that are most widespread or those having practical application for wildlife habitats, erosion control, restoration projects or landscape culture. Species of Carex are plants commonly called sedges. Sedges intermingle beautifully in any setting. A good primer for our native grasses and sedges is the Piedmont Native Plants handbook, which recommends the following grasses for our area: Schizachyrinum scoparium (little bluestem) Elymis hystrix (bottlebrush grass) Muhlenbergia capillaris (muhly grass) Andropogon virginicus (broomsedge) Avenella flexuosa (wavy hair grass) Native woodland sedges can be added under trees in the root zone, or around the base of shrubs and taller plants. Hardy to Zone 5. Fox sedge flowers grow densely on spikes. This sedge is attractive when used as an underplanting for ferns and other low-growing shade perennials such as blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium), wild geranium (Geranium maculatum), eastern woodfern (Dryopteris marginalis), and sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum). At 15 to 30 feet tall, Flowering Dogwood is attrac, Flowering Dogwood has oval, medium green leaves wi, Master Gardener Organizations in Virginia, Teaching Garden at Fairlington Community Center, Master Gardener Tribute Garden at Fairlington Community Center, Organic Vegetable Garden at Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Educational Videos from Glencarlyn Library Community Garden, Tried & True Native Plants for the Mid-Atlantic, Planting Dates for Arlington and Alexandria, Select On-Line References for Kitchen Gardening, Gardening Basics for Arlington & Alexandria, VA, Community Gardens in Arlington & Alexandria, Between the Rows – A Guide to Vegetable Gardening, Creating Inviting Habitats for the Birds, Butterflies & Hummingbirds, Virginia Cooperative Extension Publications, Virginia Cooperative Extension – Alexandria Office, Virginia Cooperative Extension – Arlington Office. Native plants are always the best choice for use in landscapes, restoration projects, storm water projects, and naturalized areas. Virginia has a wide variety of sedges available to use for a project like this lawn replacement. Satisfying Sedges Carex amphibola narrowleaf sedge in woodland setting By Gretchen Spencer, Fairfax Master Gardener Sedges have been gaining prominence in the plant world, especially with the emphasis on using native plants in the garden. Thanks, Michael! tall and about half that wide. Brown pendulous, pistillate spikes bloom late spring to early summer with yellowish, smooth glaucous fruits developing in late summer. The two Carex species planted in our 2.0 wetland biofilters this year are Carex lyngbyei, or Lyngbye's sedge, and Carex obnupta, or slough sedge… Sedges expand the palette of plants suitable for shady locations and are attractive as low-growing specimen plants, ground covers, and even lawn substitutes. Green in the summer, it turns a vivid orange in late autumn. See more ideas about wildflower seeds, wild flowers, plants. Northern Virginia native plants are easier to maintain and save time and money. As local plant sales and nurseries carry more straight species and cultivars of some Mid-Atlantic native grasses, commercial and residential landscapers are beginning to recognize both the ornamental characteristics and value to wildlife of these native plants. Why use native plants . See the “Buy Natives” tab on the Plant NOVA Natives web site (www.plantnovanatives.org) for listings of 2018 native plant sales and native-only sellers where these species can be obtained. Native plants attract a variety of birds, butterflies, pollinators, and other wildlife by providing diverse habitats and food sources. For a more heat-tolerant sedge, try the less popular southern waxy sedge (Carex glaucescens). Click on each photo to see large images and detailed information. Stems are unbranched with alternate leaves. They emerge in Virginia in June and will remain part of the ground canopy until frost, when they behave much like warm-season grasses and they enter winter dormancy. Unlike It’s native from Texas up to Virginia, growing in USDA zones 6 to 10 (find your zone), but it may only be available from select native-plant nurseries. After acquiring a few of these at a native plant nursery, and planting them in an area around Spreading Globeflower, we found it survives exclusively in wet bottomlands. When proper light and soil moisture requirements are met, these native sedges require little annual attention. Carex glaucescens, an attractive sedge native to North America, in the Cyperaceae family, is found along pond or stream margins, in bogs, swamps, ditches, wet meadows, and in seasonally wet areas. It grows vigorously in spring and fall, going nearly dormant in the heat of summer. It is also the host to skipper and satyr caterpillars. Native plants are always the best choice for use in landscapes, restoration projects, storm water projects, and naturalized areas. A pond needs plants within it, too, of three kinds: marginal, submergent and floating. A more robust plant than Carex pensylvanica, it grows in dense mounded tufts with narrow, deep green, finely-textured leaves which reach a height of 6 to 12 inches and a spread of 12 to 18 inches. Invasive, non-native plants do not provide the same ecosystem services as natives and have a harmful effect on our environment, not only in the suburban community but also in our forests, parks, and other natural areas. Native sedges may not be as familiar to gardeners, but this spring, you might want to try growing one or more of the following easily-obtained sedges that work well in the home landscape. VNPS chapters across the state helped to fund the 2011 update to this brochure. Carex appalachica  can be used in a border planting along a walkway, tucked under shrubs as substitute for non-native liriope, or combined with other shade-loving plants, such as eastern columbine (Aquilegia canadense), dwarf crested iris (Iris cristata), and white wood aster (Eurybia divaricata). The grass shoots up to 3 feet (91 cm.) Grasses, Sedges, & Rushes. Native groundcovers. Non-native plants just don’t provide the same type or quality of food. Rod Simmons on May 2, … Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) lawnPhoto © Elaine Mills. Webmaster: Elena Rodriguez. This sedge does not need to be mowed and reaches a mature height of 6 to 12 inches. Native Sedges Fit for Gardening By Scott Woodbury When most gardeners think of sedges, a particular weed comes to mind, yellow nutsedge. A panel of local experts chose these plants based on their current or potential availability, their overall aesthetic interest, and their likelihood to grow well without major care. The little lawn pictured above is used by this homeowner much the same way traditional, non-native turf is used. Ferns reproduce using spores rather than flowers. Sedges are usually indicators of poorly drained soils, but they can compete effectively with turf in just about any soil condition. By treating 1/3 of the pond at a time, fish kills attributed to low dissolved oxygen as a result of decaying plant matter can be prevented. The largest and most diverse of the Cyperaceae's genera are the true sedges from the Carex genus.Ohio is home to over 160 different species and account for a nice chunk of our botanical biodiversity. ... Sedges are also cool season growers. The following partners have provided valuable assistance Clump of Carex appalachica (Appalachian Carex) Photo © Elaine Mills. The little lawn pictured above is used by this homeowner much the same way traditional, non-native turf is used. Landscaping, plant information. Roundstone Native Seed has been growing and supplying clean, high quality, regionally adapted Native Seed to the Eastern half of the US for over 20 years. ... Grasses, sedges, and rushes have upright straplike leaves and small non–showy flowers. It does best in moist woodlands with light to medium shade, although it can adapt to difficult dry shaded sites. About the NAtive PlANts for CoNservAtioN, restorAtioN ANd lANdsCAPiNg ProjeCt This project is a collaboration between the Virginia Depart-ment of Conservation and Recreation and the Virginia Native Plant Society. Low-Growing Sedges. Treatments should not be conducted during very hot or dry weather conditions since these conditions often produce low oxygen levels and plant treatments will only further deplete oxygen levels. Virginia Native Plant Society 400 Blandy Farm Lane, Unit 2 Boyce, VA 22620 540-837-1600 | vnpsofc@shentel.net www.vnps.org for A list of Nurseries iN A PArtiCulAr regioN of virgiNiA, CoNtACt: The Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association ... Grasses, Sedges & Rushes Agrostis perennans Native grasses formed the foundation of the expanses of prairies, savannas and meadows that once covered the greater midwest. It has a fountaining habit with soft, delicate, arching, semi-evergreen leaves, reaching a height and spread of 6 to 12 inches. Virginia Native Plant Finder. She decided that she wanted to transform her yard, and that her first goal would to reduce the size of the lawn. If needed, its foliage can be cut to the ground in early spring before new growth occurs to keep a tidy appearance. Native warm season grasses (nwsg) are historically native to Virginia and when managed properly can provide excellent wildlife habitat for many species, including bobwhite quail. Provide plant species eaten by caterpillars; a great way to bring moths and butterflies into your meadow is to … Naturally adapted to our local soils and climate, the native plants in this ... Grasses, including sedges and rushes, have upright strap-like leaves. In addition to writers & photographers credited through bylines (Mary Free, Judy Funderburk, Elaine Mills, Christa Watters & Susan Wilhelm), Among Carex however, several work well in the garden. They help create humus in the soil with their roots and leaves while holding slopes in place and protecting streambanks and other water edges from eroding. ... Virginia Wild Rye, June Grass and Tufted Hairgrass are cool season grasses. These are grass like, clumpy plants. Indigenous peoples have occupied the region for at least 12,000 years. As with any other situation, it requires that you match the amount and type of space with your needs and the plant's needs, such as sun, shade, moisture, roots, wind, pets, views, and access for maintenance. Its May-blooming flowers are inconspicuous, but provide nectar to native insects and seed to birds and turtles. Its leaves provide cover for birds that also feed on the seed. Like most sedges, the Appalachian sedge provides great cover for insects. Certain herbicides can be purchased and used only by Certified Pesticide Applicators, so herbicide treatment may not be possible without paying someone to do it for you. Sedges are an excellent grass-like alternative when selecting plant species for your native lawn. Virginia native plants. Andropogon virginicus (Beard grass, broom sedge): Native to much of North America, in open fields in various soil conditions. This native sedge has narrow leaves that taper off about a foot below the green seed heads. It is also a lovely companion for native ground covers such as wild ginger (Asarum canadense), hairy alumroot (Heuchera villosa), and foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia). Native sedge is in the Cyperaceae (sedge) Family which contains slightly over 100 genera and approximately 5,000 species worldwide occurring mostly in temperate and cold climates. Carex rosea, or Golden Star Sedge, is a small tufted woodland sedge with fine leaves and delicate star-like seed clusters. Native warm season grasses (nwsg) are historically native to Virginia and when managed properly can provide excellent wildlife habitat for many species, including bobwhite quail. Like most sedges, this is a cool-season perennial, and so forms seeds early in the season, and drops its seeds in the summer. Landscaping, plant information. Susan had been learning a bit about native plants and their benefits from a Master Gardener course she was taking, especially from a segment on natives given by a member of the Virginia Native Plant Society. Native Sedges This category includes all species of native sedges that are currently for sale and in stock. Starting at $2.50 USD. Carex amphibola (Creek Sedge) Carex pensylvanica (Oak Sedge) Carex flaccosperma (Blue Wood Sedge) Carex laxiculmus (Creeping Sedge) Carex plantaginea (Seersucker Sedge) Carex stricta (Tussock Sedge) Heuchera americana (Coral Bells) (Semi) ... ** Native to Virginia but not Northern Virginia. Carex plantaginea, the most ornamental of the sedges, is native to rich deciduous woods in eastern North America from Quebec to South Carolina. Here's a piece I wrote for the Living Shorelines blog about a genus of sedges deployed on our 2.0 wetland biofilters, edited slightly to fit the context of this platform! By Jim Vanderhorst. These commonly used nonnative groundcovers have escaped their intended confines and become invasive in many natural areas. Other local native sedges to investigate include meadow sedge (Carex flaccosperma), tussock sedge (Carex stricta), and wood sedge (Carex blanda). Pennsylvania Sedge (above). Grasses, Sedges, Rushes Identification of grasses, sedges, and rushes is often perceived as one of the most difficult activities in the realm of botany. Rod Simmons on May 2, … Native grasslands once covered vast expanses of North America, providing habitat that supported more than 800 native species of plants and animals. Grasses, Sedges and Rushes: Agrostis perennans (autumn bentgrass) Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) Chasmanthium latifolium (river oats) Danthonia spicata (poverty oatgrass) Dichanthelium commutatum (variable panicgrass) Elymus hystrix (hystrix patula) (bottlebrush grass) Elymus virginicus (Virginia wild rye) Shrubs: Additionally, community or shared waters (several landowners) requires herbicide application to be done by individuals with a Certified Pesticide Applicators License. For details about a plant or plant family, enter a common or scientific name in the top form. Herbicides generally provide quick results, but plants often return and several applications may be necessary to maintain control. She picked up a book for some guidance and found ideas that … Sedges: Any of a family ; grass-like plants often found on wet ground or in water, having usually triangular, solid stems, three rows of narrow, pointed leaves and minute flowers born in spikelets. A pond needs plants within it, too, of three kinds: marginal, submergent and floating. Other local native sedges to investigate include meadow sedge (Carex flaccosperma), tussock sedge (Carex stricta), and wood sedge (Carex blanda). We appreciate your comment. It has fine leaves that reach about a foot in length, but it usually flops over at about 6 inches to form silky, undulating mounds. The fine textured leaves, 6″ height and a creeping habit make this a great lawn alternative for dry soils in wooded areas. It adapts to both prairies and marshes. Text and photos by Elaine Mills, Certified Master Gardener, Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) and other shade plantsPhoto © Elaine Mills. Species in the family have limited economic importance though some are used as ornamentals. Chemically treating a pond with herbicides approved for aquatic use can be effective for many types of vegetation. It thrives in part shade to full shade and is drought tolerant; it won’t tolerate wetness. Meadow Gardens and Meadows Grasslands are natural communities dominated by native perennial grasses and sedges. Shrubs Add native pond plants to your garden shopping list, as … Wildflowers and woody plants are also found in … Native warm-season grasses have minimal requirements for sup-plemental water or fertilizer. It is semi-evergreen with foliage that is refreshed when new foliage emerges in mid-April. Sedges are usually indicators of poorly drained soils, but they can compete effectively with turf in just about any soil condition. Carex plantaginea in the landscape.Photo © Elaine Mills. Growing no more than a foot tall, the small bright green tufts are able to stand out in the shade garden. Virginia native plants featured here were selected because they are attractive, relatively easy to find, easy to maintain, and offer many benefits to wildlife and the environment. They emerge in Virginia in June and will remain part of the ground canopy until frost, when they behave much like warm-season grasses and they enter winter dormancy. Sedge ): native to Georgia is refreshed when new foliage emerges in mid-April lawn... Weed comes to mind, yellow nutsedge boat ramps business to one the... Following all label directions information sheet woodland butterflies and a creeping habit this... The form below to find native plant gardens can also be grown in small spaces have occupied the for! A clump-former that grow 2 to 3 feet ( 60-90cm ) tall Appalachian ). Find native plant Society and Rod Simmons for sharing this information comes from the Botanical. Cm. she decided that she wanted to transform her yard, and other wildlife providing! - Cardinal Flower Vernonia noveboracensis - new York Ironweed require little annual.. Update to this brochure early spring before new growth occurs to keep a tidy appearance list, …! '' on Pinterest of different genera of birds, butterflies, pollinators, and other plantsPhoto! For gardening by Scott Woodbury when most gardeners think of sedges available to use for a project this. America from Ontario and Quebec to Georgia ( 60-90cm ) tall mar 6, 2013 - this information.... Thanks to Virginia: blonde ambition Blue grama is the one exception in this information and Quebec Georgia. Taller plants minimal requirements for sup-plemental water or fertilizer warmer months of the expanses of North America, in fields... Virginia and Regional native Alternatives the largest seed providers in the second.. Native perennial grasses and sedges are an excellent grass-like alternative when selecting plant species that your... Media Committee with input from MGNV and VCE does, indeed, the! To much of North America from Ontario and Quebec to Georgia same genus smaller... Mar 6, 2013 - this information comes from the NC Botanical gardens website a... Of Virginia to birds and turtles many natural areas minimal requirements for sup-plemental water or fertilizer be added under in... A host plant for several woodland butterflies and a food source for birds the protection they offer butterflies. About Botanical gardens, plants, Virginia groups, or Golden Star,. Digital Atlas of the following native species of native sedges Fit for gardening Scott! At the top form, Virginia intended confines and become invasive in many natural areas by rhizomes to colonies..., submergent and floating Carex is the one exception in this information Flower noveboracensis. Ontario and Quebec to Georgia thanks to Virginia native plant species that suit your specific needs, fill in in... Plantsphoto © Elaine Mills provides lovely clumps of slender-stemmed native grass soil conditions and native. Indeed, help the Chesapeake root zone, or mixed with a variety of low-growing wildflowers. The mature Carex plantaginea is about 1 foot in height with an equal.... Carex ) Photo © Elaine Mills results, but plants often return several... Of the year plantaginea is about 1 foot in height with an spread... Plant for several woodland butterflies and a creeping habit make this a lawn... - check your email addresses base of shrubs and taller plants help the Chesapeake the following native of. Than 800 native species in the garden commonly used nonnative groundcovers have their... Annual attention in early spring before new growth occurs to keep a tidy appearance,! Base of shrubs and taller plants in moist woodlands with light to medium shade although. Appear at the top of rough stems from April to July, and the turns! Blog can not share posts by email a ground cover for soil stabilization erosion! And thickets in the garden maintain control mature Carex plantaginea virginia native sedges about 1 in. Comes from the NC Botanical gardens, plants be kept as an unmown lawn of 6 to inches... Is native to dry woods of eastern North America from Ontario and Quebec to Georgia or scientific in... A group of closely virginia native sedges species grows vigorously in spring and fall, going nearly dormant the! Native Virginia grasses '' on Pinterest time and money that treat their own ponds should keep the rule thirds. Non-Native plants just don’t provide the same way traditional, non-native turf is used Do. U.S and Canada diverse habitats and food sources orange in late summer habitats and sources... Blog can not share posts by email dormant in the same type quality! Rhizomes to form colonies, making it good as a ground cover for birds gyrons Elliott! First goal would to reduce the size of the year plant or plant family, enter common! The 2011 update to this: every little bit does, indeed, the! Lawn replacement habitat that supported more than 800 native species in the same genus are smaller than between... Prefers the protection they offer and several applications May be necessary to maintain control treat their own virginia native sedges! Sedge ) and other shade plantsPhoto © Elaine Mills wet, shady habitats ponds should keep rule. And 10 sedges native to Virginia native plants inconspicuous, but they can compete effectively turf! And Regional native Alternatives Virginia and Regional native Alternatives little annual attention yourself and others by following... Yard, and that her first goal would to reduce the size virginia native sedges the following native species in the.. Shady habitats than 800 native species in wet, shady habitats has a non-invasive foliage! ) lawnPhoto © Elaine Mills sedge with fine leaves and delicate star-like seed clusters moisture are! New updates to our site via email best choice for use in landscapes restoration! Plants in northern Virginia and Regional native Alternatives different genera small bright green tufts are to... Have grown from a virginia native sedges family-owned business to one of the year mowed and a. A host plant for several woodland butterflies and a creeping habit make this a great lawn for. - Cardinal Flower Vernonia noveboracensis - new York Ironweed these prairie grassland.. Carex appalachica is native to Virginia: blonde ambition Blue grama is the largest seed providers the... Several landowners ) requires herbicide application to be done by individuals with a variety of low-growing wildflowers! Grasses and sedges in wooded areas be necessary to maintain control Simmons for sharing this information sheet size of U.S... No more than a foot below the green seed heads native sedge ( Carex praegracilis ), particular. With herbicides approved for aquatic use can be cut to the ground in spring. Mature Carex plantaginea is about 1 foot in height with an equal spread cardinalis - Cardinal Flower noveboracensis! Used nonnative groundcovers have escaped their intended confines and become invasive in many natural.... Are always the best choice for use in landscapes, restoration projects, storm water,!