Floridata Plant Encyclopedia

A Floridata Plant Profile 985 Carex appalachica

Common Names: Appalachian sedge Family: Cyperaceae (sedge Family)

Appalachian sedge
Appalachian sedge boasts a beautiful fine textured, medium green foliage that will add interest to the winter garden.


Tired of mowing the grass? If you must have a lawn, and we all know that lawns are not politically or environmentally correct these days, why not convert it to a no maintenance Carex garden? The Appalachian sedge is the Carex for you. I've been growing Carex appalachica for years now under the misnomer of Carex pennsylvanica. It wasn't until the world famous, all knowing Carex Guru, Tony Reznicek informed me that I was in error. Although they look similar, there are subtle differences.

Appalachian sedge has fine, medium green leaves that grow 12-24 in (30.5-61 cm) in length that are arranged in low clumps 4-8 in (10.2-20.3 cm) in diameter. It blooms in early spring producing small inconspicuous blossoms.


Carex appalachica is native to the eastern United States from Maine to South Carolina and west to Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio.


Likes average to poor soils. Light: Full shade to dappled sunlight Moisture: Like average to well drained soils. Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 - 7. I suspect that the Appalachian Sedge is probably hardy to Zone 4 and perhaps even to 3. Propagation: As with most Carex species and cultivars, propagation is quite easy by division. A mature clump will yield many new divisions which can be directly replanted or potted up and grown on. We wash all of the soil off and trim the long, fine textured roots back to about 2 in (5.1 cm) and do the same with the 12-24 in (30.5-61 cm) tops. We repot them, and new roots appear at the bottom of the pots within just a few weeks.


In the wild, Carex appalachica favors dry woodland conditions, but is quite adaptable to just about any garden setting. Appalachian sedge is great for naturalizing. I've planted this useful sedge on a west facing hillside with about a 45 degree slope to it where it thrives while protecting the soil from erosion.

Appalachian sedge
Appalachian sedge cascades down a hillside at Barry's Sunshine Farm and Garden in West Virginia.


The super fine texture of the Carex appalachica cascading down from the top adds a remarkable dimension as it swirls around tree trunks and rocks along it's path. It gives the impression of the movement of wind and water and makes a fine addition to gardens and woodland habitats.

by Barry Glick of Sunshine Farm and Gardens, Renick, WV 1/22/04

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Carex species profiled on Floridata:

Carex appalachica

( Appalachian sedge )

Carex oshimensis

( Oshima sedge, Oshima kan suge, Japanese sedge grass )

Carex pendula

( drooping sedge, weeping sedge, pendulous sedge, great drooping sedge )

Carex phyllocephala

( palm sedge )

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