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Many are valuable evergreen foliage plants, others subtle flowering types. Contrary to popular myth there are Carex for all soil types, from shallow water to pure sand!

Carex are not true grasses but are a genus in the Family Cyperaceae.  The easiest (but not foolproof) way to tell them from true grasses is that most members of the Cyperaceae have flower stems with a more-or-less triangular cross-section.  Most true grasses have flower stems with a round, hollow, cross section.

Many Carex are used as evergreen groundcover or edging plants and many of the low growing, variegated forms originate in Japan where they have been used alongside Ophiopogon and Liriope in traditional Japanese gardens.  There are also numerous fresh to deep green leafed forms, including British native species, that can fulfil a similar roll.

At the other end of the spectrum there are the mostly brown leafed species and forms from New Zealand.  These will mostly need full sun but can take quite moist through to fairly dry soils.  The limiting factor with most of these "dead sedges" with their evergreen (brown) leaves is that they are vulnerable to extreme cold in winter with many only hardy to -10oC.

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Carex 'Evergold'

Carex 'Evergold'£3.50

Listed under both C. hachijoensis and C. oshimensis this plant has a rich green foliage broadly centred creamy yellow. Clump forming to 20cm high and 40cm across. Not dry soil.

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Carex 'Silver Sceptre'

Carex 'Silver Sceptre'£3.00

Low growing semi-evergreen clumps of creamy-white variegated foliage to 15cm. Average soil in sun or shade, slowly spreading clumps but well behaved.

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Carex buchananii

Carex buchananii£3.50

Stiffly upright when young, becoming more arching with age. Narrow rich reddish brown leaves to 60cm. Does best in sun, average to moist soil.

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Carex divulsa ssp. leersii

Carex divulsa ssp. leersii£3.00

Clumps of long, fine bright green foliage and delicate summer flowers to 20cm. Ordinary soil in sun or shade. British native so very hardy.

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Carex glauca

Carex glauca£4.00

Broad blue-grey leaves are nearly evergreen in average to moist soil in light shade. Insignificant flowers in spring to 30cm. Confusion over the correct name but it is a lovely plant!

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Carex muskingumensis 'Oehme'

Carex muskingumensis 'Oehme'£3.50

A hardy sedge with a tropical look. Golden yellow margins to the rich green palm-like foliage on stems to 40cm. Chestnut brown flowers are produced in summer on the tops of the stems.

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Carex nigra 'On-Line'

Carex nigra 'On-Line'£3.00

A variable creamy yellow variegation lifts the grey-green foliage on this form of the native Black Sedge. Creeping tufts to 30cm high, but it never seems to make too much of itself. Good to moist sioil in sun or light shade.

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Carex normalis£3.50

A rare North American species related to C muskingumensis producing clumps of upright stems with bright green leaves arranged like a palm. Flower spikes are clusters of rounded spikelets up to 50cm although it grows much taller in its native habitat. Moist soil in sun.

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Carex panicea£3.00

Carnation Sedge. Evergreen glaucous leaves on a shortly creeping plant make an attractive alternative for good to damp soil in sun. Black and pale yellow flowers to 20cm.

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Carex pendula 'Cool Jazz'

Carex pendula 'Cool Jazz'£4.50

A recent introduction this form has green leaves with cream, silver and pale yellow stripes. Not spectacular but a good subtle variegation. Usual flowers on stems to 1.5m. Shade.

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Carex remota

Carex remota£3.50

Neat clumps of very fine bright green leaves on this evergreen native sedge. Delicate pale green flowers in spring/summer. Best in good soil in shade. 20cm.

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Carex texensis

Carex texensis£3.50

Bright green mat forming sedge. Produces masses of equally bright green, dainty, flowers on delicate stems to 25cm in spring. A good edger for shady borders. Average soil.

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