Carex eburnea

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: bristle-leaved sedge 
Type: Rush or Sedge
Family: Cyperaceae
Native Range: Eastern and central North America
Zone: 2 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Green
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Insignificant
Tolerate: Deer, Heavy Shade


Grow in medium moisture soils in part shade to full shade. Thrives in soils that receive consistent moisture, but also will grow in drier sandy or rocky soils. Cut foliage to the ground and remove in late winter. Plants spread slowly by rhizomes over time, sometimes forming large colonies in optimum conditions in the wild.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Carex eburnea, sometimes commonly called bristle-leaf sedge, is native from Newfoundland to Alaska south to Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas. In Missouri, it most commonly occurs in crevices of limestone bluffs in the Ozark areas of the state (Steyermark). It is also known to grow in drier sandy soils, particularly on limestone outcroppings and glades. This sedge is grown in the landscape for its foliage effect. Soft, thread-like, green leaves form a spherical, porcupine-like clump to 6-10” tall and as wide. Whitish-green flowers on spikes in spring are insignificant. Other common names for this sedge include ivory sedge and ebony sedge.

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 ivory-white.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Rock gardens. Effective accent for smaller gardens.