Carex grayi - Gray's Sedge

A better name for Gray's sedge would be Morning Star sedge. The spiked flowers truly look like the medieval weapon of the same name.

The quality of the plant will be directly related to the moisture it receives during the growing season. In full sun situations moist soil is needed for the plant to look healthy and lush. Established plants are drought tolerant except during prolonged periods without moisture.

This plant is well-suited to a rain garden.

What is noticed most about Gray's sedge is the conspicuous and unique seed heads, but the attractive pleated foliage is also a nice touch. The flowers add a unique touch to floral arrangements.

Description: cool season; clump forming
Foliage - light green; 1 cm (3/8") wide blades; 30-100 cm (12-40") in height
Flowers - very showy and bloom from May-June; start out green, later turning chocolate brown; reaching 40-120 cm (16-48")

Ideal conditions: full sun to light shade; constantly moist in hot dry climates; foliage is a deeper colour in shade

Coldest zone: 2 (find your zone; further info on plant hardiness)

Season of interest: June to winter

Drought tolerance rating: 4 (water to root depth when soil starts to dry) further info

Native to: eastern North America; meadows that are wet in the spring

Recommended spacing between plants: 30-50 cm (12-20") why such a difference?

Pronunciation: Carex (KAIR-ex) grayi (GRAY-eye)


More ornamental grasses

Compare Carex grayi to our other grasses in this handy chart.



Carex grayi - Gray's Sedge
Carex grayi - Gray's Sedge


from the USDA website: states and provinces where
Carex grayi is native