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Products > Carex divulsa [C. tumulicola, Hort.]
Carex divulsa [C. tumulicola, Hort.] - European Grey Sedge
Image of Carex divulsa [C. tumulicola, Hort.]
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass-like
Family: Cyperaceae (Sedges)
Origin: Europe, Central (Europe)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Brown
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [C. tumulicola, Hort., Berkeley Sedge]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: < 0 F
Carex divulsa [C. tumulicola, Hort.] - (European Grey Sedge) - This non-native sedge is an evergreen grass-like plant that forms arching clumps, 12-18 inches tall by 2 feet wide. It is a very versatile plant for use in coastal full sun to fairly deep shade. It tolerates boggy wet soils but is also fairly drought tolerant once established. The plant seems happiest when planted in light shade with regular to occasional irrigation but we have areas in our garden that rarely get irrigated with this plant growing happily, though somewhat smaller. Greenish flowers scattered along an arching unbranched peduncle age to brown from winter through spring and can be sheared off to neaten the plant and prevent reseeding - otherwise expect this plant to seed out into the irrigated areas of the garden. A great clumping plant for use in solid stands or combined with other sedges, grasses and herbaceous plants for a natural meadow look. Hardy to USDA zone 4 (well below zero F ). We originally received this plant in 1990 as Carex tumulicola, a native California plant commonly called Foothill Sedge that inhabits the coast range of California north to British Columbia. In 2004 Dr. Deiter Wilken, a Santa Barbara Botanic Garden botanist, attempted to key this plant but discovered that the plant would not key to Carex tumulicola or any other California native plant and became suspicious that this plant was not a California native species. In 2005 Tony Reznicek of the University of Michigan Herbarium keyed the plant to Carex divulsa, a wide ranging European species, and in 2006 Michael Curto wrote an article titled "An Imposter Identified: Berkeley Sedge Is European Grey Sedge" in the July, August September 2006 issue of Pacific Horticulture that confirmed this identification. There is general agreement that this is the correct name for the plant long sold in the California nursery trade as Carex tumulicola that was commonly called the Berkeley Sedge. Because of interest from those wanting a California native clumping sedge San Marcos Growers did for a while also grow the true Carex tumulicola but found it much less attractive and reliable and note that much of what is continuing to be sold under this name in the California nursery trade is still the imposter, Carex divulsa, which we find is the more robust and attractive, though non-native, of these two sedges. 

This information about Carex divulsa [C. tumulicola, Hort.] 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.