Carex comans 'Frosted Curls'
Common Name: sedge
Type: Rush or Sedge
Family: Cyperaceae
Zone: 7 to 10
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Green-brown flowers
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

Winter hardy to -10 F (UDSA Zone 6b) where it is easily grown in organically rich, consistently moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates shade but avoid deep shade. Plants need consistent moisture if grown in full sun locations. Tolerant of occasional standing water. Root mulch will help conserve moisture in summer and protect roots in cold winters. Cut foliage to the ground in late winter. Plants slowly naturalize by rhizomes and self-seeding in optimum growing conditions. If foliage becomes snarled or unkempt, clip it back to 4-5” from the ground in late winter to early spring. Propagate by division.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Carex comans, commonly called New Zealand hair sedge, is an evergreen perennial sedge that typically grows in a dense weeping clump of thin (1/16” wide), hair-like leaves to 12-24” tall. It is native to New Zealand where it typically grows as a common pasture weed. Slender, rough-margined, pale green to bronze leaves (to 1.5’ long) with purplish-brown lower sheaths grow in a dense tussock that some say resembles a hairy mop. Flowers bloom in late spring to early summer, but are not ornamentally significant (male flowers in terminal spikelets and female flowers in lateral spikelets). Many New Zealand sedges exhibit leaf color variations ranging from green to bronze. Although natural variations in leaf color and plant habit frequently occur with this species, all forms of the species are attractive regardless of variation.

Over 1500 species of Carex grow in a variety of habitats (often moist to wet areas) throughout the world. Identification of individual species can be very difficult.

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.

Specific epithet from Latin means resembling a head of hair.

‘Frosted Curls’ is a more compact cultivar that grows to 12” tall and features curling pale silvery green to frosted blue foliage with silvery tips. It is particularly effective when planted on slopes, in containers or in other places where its foliage can cascade.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Thrives in moist soil. Best in groups or massed. Perfect along stream margins or water garden peripheries. Part shade areas of borders or woodland gardens. Slowly spreading ground cover. Rock/alpine gardens. Large clay pot with leaves drooping over the side.