Carex crinita

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: fringed sedge
Type: Rush or Sedge
Family: Cyperaceae
Native Range: Central and eastern United States
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Green
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Birds
Tolerate: Deer, Erosion, Wet Soil

Culture

Easily grown in moist to wet soils including standing water in full sun to part shade. Grows well in wet low spots, water margins and areas that experience some seasonal flooding, but also tolerates drier soils with medium moisture. Tolerates shady conditions. Spreads by rhizomes to form large colonies.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Carex crinita, commonly called fringed sedge, is an evergreen sedge with short creeping rhizomes. It grows in dense tussocks (clumps) of leafy culms (vegetative and flowering stems) rising to 2-3' tall (without flowers) and to 1-2' wide. Each culm typically has strap-like medium green leaves (each to 16" long and 1/2" wide) which are rough along the margins. Flowers bloom in late spring (May-June) in terminal inflorescences atop upright to ascending flowering culms which typically arch above the foliage to as much as 4' tall. Each inflorescence consists of drooping flowers in 1-2 staminate spikelets (each to 2" long) and 2-6 pistillate spikelets (each to 4" long). Female flowers are followed by tiny fruits (achenes) enclosed in sac-like bracts (perigynia). This is an emergent aquatic that is native primarily to wet meadows, wet prairies, swamps, sloughs, marshes, bogs and water margins in eastern and central North America (Nova Scotia to Manitoba south to Georgia and Texas). In Missouri, it is scattered throughout the State (most frequently found in the Ozarks) in bottomland prairies, moist depressions in upland prairies, and margins of streams, ponds, lakes, sloughs, marshes and fens (Steyermark).

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 means with long, weak hairs.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Best grown in mass for foliage effect in moist to wet areas including ones with some standing water. Flowers are not showy. Good selection for low spots, stream/pond margins or areas with seasonal flooding. Also may be grown in a variety of upland locations including areas with medium moisture soils. Effective accent. Good for erosion control. Rain gardens. Will naturalize over time to form colonies.