Carex siderosticha 'Lemon Zest'

Common Name: sedge 
Type: Rush or Sedge
Family: Cyperaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Tan-brown
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


Easily grown in medium to wet soils in part shade to full shade. Likes moist, shady areas. Soils should not be allowed to dry out and need consistent supplemental watering in hot summer weather. Cut foliage to the ground and remove in late winter. May be propagated by division. Plants will spread over time by rhizomes to form a dense ground cover.

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.

‘Lemon Zest’ is a patented golden-leaved form that typically grows in a slowly spreading clump to 6” tall. It originated as a chance mutation of Carex siderosticha ‘Banana Boat’. It is noted for its striking, grassy, 1-inch wide, lemon yellow leaves (to 6-8” long) which turn chartreuse to light green by summer. Insignificant brownish flower spikes appear on triangular stems in late spring. U.S. Plant Patent PP14,463 was issued January 13, 2004.


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.