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Products > Carex flacca
Carex flacca - Blue Sedge
Image of Carex flacca
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass-like
Family: Cyperaceae (Sedges)
Origin: Europe, Central (Europe)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: NA
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [Carex glauca]
Height: <1 foot
Width: Spreading
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10 F
Carex flacca (Blue Sedge) - A beautiful cool-season growing silver-blue evergreen sedge that reaches to only 6 to 10 inches tall with narrow 3/16 inch wide leaves that are blue-green on the upper surface and more uniformly gray-blue below with the overall look being quite blue. The 1 foot tall flowers in early summer are neither showy nor detract from the clean look of this plant. It is a moderately slow but a steady spreader in a low-water use garden, but spreads much more rapidly with ample water and fertilizer. A great groundcover for that cool blue feel; taking some traffic or it can be used directly in a water garden planted up to 2" below the water surface. Spreads slowly with runners which can be encouraged by trimming back lightly a mowing set at 4 inches high done three to four times a year keeps this plant vigorous and neat. Once established it has shown moderate drought resistance, especially in part shade; or plant in full sun with average to occasional garden water. Hardy to USDA Zone 4. This plant is from the area around the Mediterranean Sea where it grows in calcareous grasslands, sand dunes and in estuaries in Europe and North Africa. It has long been offered in the US as Carex glauca, the name under which we listed it for over 20 years since we first began growing it in 1986 from plants purchased from "the grassman", John Greenlee. The correct name for this plant however is Carex flacca, though arguably this form sold for many years in the nursery trade is a very nice glaucous form of this species. The name Carex flacca is not a name change but the confusion between these two names for the same plant that has been going on for centuries. The Department of Botany of the British Museum first discusses this in their 1898 report and cites the reason why the name C. flacca takes precedence. Carex flacca was described by German botanist and zoologist Johan Christian Daniel von Schreber (1739-1810) in 1771 and a year later (1772) Giovanni Scopoli (1723-1788), an Italian physician and naturalist, described a plant he called Carex glauca. Once it was determined that these plants were the same species, the older name should have taken precedence, but apparently the older name, Carex flacca, was at first overlooked and Carex glauca came into more common usage. This has been corrected by many but both names still seem applied to this same plant. We have grown and listed this continuously in our nursery catalogs since 1987. We also grow a taller and narrower leaf selection of Carex flacca called 'Blue Zinger'. In recent years there has surfaced concerning news of Carex flacca naturalizing in wildlands of Connecticut, Vermont, Kentucky, Michigan, and New York, and also in the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec. This has not been observed in our drier mediterranean climate where this plant has not reseeded outside of irrigated areas and only rarely reseeded at at, but it is certainly something to be aware of. 

This information about Carex flacca displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.