Carex siderosticha 'Shima-nishiki' ISLAND BROCADE

Common Name: sedge 
Type: Rush or Sedge
Family: Cyperaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Yellowish green
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

Noteworthy Characteristics

Carex siderosticha is a deciduous, rhizomatous, creeping, broad-leaved sedge that is native to woodland mountain areas in Japan, China and Korea. Unusually broad leaf width (blades are sometimes described as bamboo-like) gives rise to the often-used common name of broad-leaved sedge for plants of this species. Insignificant brownish flower spikes appear on triangular stems in late spring. Foliage is a bold medium green.

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.

‘Shima-nishiki’ is a low-growing cultivar that is most noted for its variegated foliage. It typically grows to 6-8” tall but will spread over time by rhizomes to 15” or more to form a dense ground cover. It features broad, grassy leaves (to 1.25” wide) that have cream-streaked lime green centers and gold margins. The cultivar name for this carex translates from Japanese to English as island (shima) brocade (nishiki). This sedge is now commonly sold in the U.S. under its translated name as Carex ‘Island Brocade’ or Island Brocade Sedge.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Group or mass as a ground cover in shady areas of borders or woodland gardens. Effective accent for smaller gardens. Edging plant for paths or walkways or woodlands. Also appropriate for areas with moist soils such as low spots or on the periphery of streams or ponds.