Carex 'Ice Dance'
Common Name: sedge 
Type: Rush or Sedge
Family: Cyperaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to July
Bloom Description: Brown
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Deer, Heavy Shade, Erosion, Wet Soil


Grow in medium to wet soils in part shade to full shade. May be grown in close to full sun if soils are kept consistently moist. Thrives in moist, organically rich soils, but can also perform reasonably well in average garden soils. Cut foliage to the ground and remove in late winter.

Leaf color richer in shade than in sun. May benefit from a winter mulch.

Noteworthy Characteristics

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.

'Ice Dance' is a dense, spreading sedge rising to 12" tall which is grown for its foliage effect. Features grass-like, stiff leaves (1/2" wide to 12" long) which are dark green in the center with clean white borders. The moderate spreading habit of this sedge (most sedges are clump-forming) facilitates covering woodland areas with it. Brownish flowers in late spring are insignificant. This sedge is evergreen in the South, maintaining a good appearance in both summer and winter, but is not evergreen in the St. Louis area, although some foliage color will persist through the winter.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Mass or group in woodland gardens, shade gardens, border fronts or rock gardens. Excellent accent for moist, shady areas.

Combine with other shade loving plants such as hostas in a moist, shady border. Needs regular watering.