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Back to trial Carex for the Mid-Atlantic Region

Trial Garden

Carex plantaginea (plantain-leaf sedge)

2 Photos


Carex plantaginea is an easily recognized species that features broad, heavily textured foliage. Although nearly evergreen, by the end of winter the tips of the previous year’s leaves may be browned and desiccated. This tendency could be tempered by siting plants in protected locations away from direct winter sun. Spring cleanup requires minimal effort, and a hard cutback should be avoided, if possible, because C. plantaginea is slow to produce new leaves in spring. Without the previous year’s foliage, it does not completely fill out until late spring or early summer. This species has an exceptionally early bloom time, with dark, spear-like flowering stems emerging from the crown in March. This welcome display mixes well with some of the earliest spring ephemerals. Plantain-leaf sedge was a top performer in shade but plants in full sun failed to thrive and did not complete the four-year evaluation. In the wild, plantain-leaf sedge grows in woodlands through the Appalachian Mountains, New England, and around the Great Lakes.


  • Rating
    4.2/0.0 (Shade/Sun (Did not complete)) Top Performer 
  • Common Name
    plantain-leaf sedge  
  • Size
    13” X 26” 
  • Growth habit
  • Texture
  • Winter foliage
  • Mowing rating
    1.8/Did not complete (shade/sun)