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Back to trial Carex for the Mid-Atlantic Region

Trial Garden

Carex sprengelii (long-beaked sedge)

2 Photos


Carex sprengelii, also known as long-beaked sedge, is a member of the same section as fellow top performer C. cherokeensis, and features similarly desirable ornamental qualities but in a slightly smaller plant. This species starts off its spring growth with an upright fountain-shaped habit replete with nodding inflorescences. Long-beaked sedge shines in April and May as the foliage emerges and the flowers and fruit are produced. The unique wheat-like flowers and seeds are held well above the foliage and add movement and texture to the garden. However, the beautiful floral and fruiting display does not last long as heavy rain can cause the plant to flop. Thankfully a new flush of growth quickly disguises the flattened foliage to create a tidy, though slightly shorter plant through summer and fall. Cutting down the tallest stems either right before or right after the flop occurs can improve the appearance of the plant during June. After several years the clumps developed a hollow center, but timely division should keep the plants full. Long-beaked sedge can be found in woodlands of the northern United States.


  • Rating
    4.4/4.0 (Shade/Sun) Top Performer 
  • Common Name
    long-beaked sedge  
  • Size
    20” x 40” 
  • Growth habit
  • Texture
  • Winter foliage
  • Mowing rating
    2.1/1.9 (Shade/Sun)