Plant of the Month: Silver Sedge

Silver Sedge   Carex platyphylla

Global Ranking:  G5                         

Other Common Names:  Broad-leaf sedge, Blue Satin Sedge

Range: southern Ontario, extreme southern Quebec, west to Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, northern Alabama and northern Georgia.

What better way to start off our Silver Anniversary than by introducing a silver sedge?  

This spectacular sedge is found primarily on well-drained rocky slopes in rich shady deciduous woodlands.  In moist soil, the sedge will spread to form a clumping groundcover. Once established, it will also tolerate dry shade.

Although similar to the more common C. plantaginea and C. albursina, Silver Sedge is easily recognizable, not only by its broad, almost hosta-like leaves, but by its distinctive glaucous (blue-white) evergreen foliage.  Silver Sedge grow to a height of 20-30 cm (0.5-1 ft).  It flowers in spring, producing fruit by June.

Plant Communities:

Silver Sedge has been found with Dryopteris marginalis (marginal shield fern), Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort), Uvularia grandiflora (bellwort), Smilacina racemosa (starry false Solomon- seal), Trillium grandiflorum (large-flowered trillium), Aquilegia canadensis (columbine), Herbaceous associates include Pennsylvania Sedge (Carex pensylvanica), Bellow-beaked Sedge (Carex albicans), Oval-leaved Sedge (Carex cephalophora), Longstalk Sedge (Carex pedunculata), Hairy Woodrush (Luzula acuminata), Large-leaf Wood-aster (Eurybia macrophylla), Bluestem Goldenrod (Solidago caesia) and Pedicularis canadensis (lousewort) in forests dominated by sugar maple (Acer saccharum), red oak (Quercus rubra), Tsuga canadensis (Eastern hemlock), White Oak (Quercus alba), Black Oak (Quercus velutina), and White Pine (Pinus strobes)


 Native Plants to Know