Carex conica 'Snowline'
Common Name: sedge
Type: Rush or Sedge
Family: Cyperaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: Purplish white
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Deer, Heavy Shade

Culture

Grow in organically rich, acidic, medium to wet soils in part shade to full shade. Thrives in moist loams, but also may do well in average garden soils. Foliage color is richer in part shade (particularly afternoons) in St. Louis summers. Foliage may burn in full sun in hot summer climates. Cut foliage to the ground and remove in late winter. Propagate by division in spring.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Carex conica, sometimes commonly called birdfoot sedge, is a tufted, perennial sedge that is native to low mountain areas and woods in Japan and southern Korea. It forms clumps of fine-textured, narrow, grass-like, glossy green leaves. Plants are evergreen in mild winter climates, but at best semi-evergreen in the St. Louis area. Small, somewhat insignificant, purplish-white flowers appear in late spring on triangular flowering stems.

Genus name from Latin means cutter in reference to the sharp leaves and stem edges (rushes are round but sedges have edges) found on most species' plants.

‘Snowline’ is a variegated cultivar that features narrow, arching, deep green leaves with white margins. It is grown in the landscape for its ornamental foliage effect. ‘Snowline’ is a slow-growing sedge that may over time grow to as much as 12-15” tall and 12-24” wide, but is usually seen much smaller in the garden (e.g., 6-8” tall) in its early years of growth. Nursery catalogs sometimes describe it as a 6” dwarf. ‘Marginata’, ‘Variegata’ and ‘Hime Kan Suge’ are additional variegated cultivars of this species that are generally considered by some experts to be synonymous with ‘Snowline’.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Ground cover, aquatic marginal or containers. Mass or group in open woodland gardens, borders or rock gardens. Effective accent for smaller gardens. Also appropriate for areas with moist soils such as low spots and stream/pond margins.