Carex muskingumensis

Landscape View
Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: palm sedge 
Type: Rush or Sedge
Family: Cyperaceae
Native Range: Western North America
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to September
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Water Plant, Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Insignificant
Tolerate: Deer, Drought


Easily grown in average, medium to wet soil in full sun to part shade. This species does well in some shade, but tends to flop in too much shade. Best in constantly moist, fertile soil, but will grow in shallow water (3-4" deep). Grows well away from water, but soil must not be allowed to dry out. Cut to ground in winter. Plants slowly naturalize by rhizomes in optimum growing conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Carex muskingumensis, commonly called palm sedge, is a dense, clump-forming sedge which is grown for its foliage effect. Produces rigid, erect stems to 20" tall with 8" long, pointed, grass-like, light green leaves radiating from the stem tops. Commonly called palm sedge since the leaves somewhat superficially resemble miniature palm fronds. A Missouri native which is found most often in wooded swamps and on wooded flood plains of rivers. Spread by rhizomes and self-seeding. Insignificant flowers appear in May on terminal spikes which are not showy but are noticeable and of some interest and persist throughout the summer. Foliage promptly turns yellow after frost.

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.

Species is named for the Muskingum River in Ohio.


No significant insect or disease problems.


Mass in moist, lightly shaded areas near ponds or streams. A good plant for the water garden. With regular watering, may be grown in borders, rock gardens and containers. Container plants may be placed in shallow water to 4”.