Carex leporina

Common Name: oval sedge 
Type: Rush or Sedge
Family: Cyperaceae
Native Range: Asia, Europe, western North America
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Yellowish-brown
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Insignificant
Tolerate: Deer, Erosion, Wet Soil


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 or seed. In optimum growing conditions, plants will slowly naturalize over time.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Carex leporina, commonly called eggbract sedge in North America or oval sedge in the British Isles, is a perennial herb that is native to seasonally moist to wet soils in meadows, fields and open places in Western North America (British Columbia to California) and Eurasia. It has naturalized in the flora of Eastern North America from Quebec to Pennsylvania with some isolated populations in Tennessee, North Carolina and Wisconsin and in the flora of New Zealand.

Narrow grassy green leaves (to 1/8” wide) typically grow in a dense clump to 9” tall and are topped by erect flower stems rising to as much as 30” tall. Stems are topped by open inflorescences (to 1” long), each inflorescence containing a cluster of 4-7 flower spikes. Pistillate flowers are borne above the staminate ones on the spikes (gynaecandrous). Each pistillate flower is enclosed in a sac-like structure (perigynium) which shows reddish-gold to brown bracts, a golden center and a white tip. Flowers are followed by tiny achenes.

Synonymous with Carex ovalis.

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.


No serious insect or disease problems.


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