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Products > Carex tumulicola
Carex tumulicola - Foothill Sedge

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass-like
Family: Cyperaceae (Sedges)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Brown
Bloomtime: Spring
Height: 1 foot
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: < 0 F
Carex tumulicola (Foothill sedge) - An open tufted semi-evergreen clumping sedge that grows to 8 to 12 inches tall with wiry dark green foliage in clumps that spread slowly by short stout rhizomes. This is not the Berkeley Sedge! Plant in full coastal sun or bright shade to part sun. Responds to water but is able to tolerate periods of dryness. Hardy to around 10 F. This plant is a good component with other grasses and forbs for a natural looking groundcover under shrubs or trees and for a natural meadow plantings. It is also useful also for soil stabilization. This sedge has a wide distribution throughout California from Los Angeles county north to British Columbia, where it grows between 100 and 4000 feet in elevation in meadows and on gentle slopes in the Coastal Prairie, Mixed Evergreen Forest, Yellow Pine Forest, Douglas-Fir Forest and Redwood Forest plant communities. This is the TRUE native Carex tumulicola, commonly called Foothill Sedge, and should not to be confused with Carex divulsa, the so called Berkeley sedge that for many years was sold by nurseries and botanic gardens as Carex tumulicola. We have grown both of these sedges and they are in the same section (Phaestoglochin) within Carex but the non-native Carex divulsa is a larger more vigorous plant that remains more evergreen and has leaves that are nearly twice as wide at their base, and has a longer inflorescence that is bare of bracts for more than half its terminal length. Though Carex divulsa is the more attractive and durable of these two plants, if one seeks a native California clump forming sedge, this plant iwould be the best choice but we no longer grow it. The epithet is from the Latin words tumulus meaning "a mound" or "hillock" from tumere meaning "to swell" and 'cola' or 'incola' which means "a dweller" or "inhabitant" in reference to this plant growing on mounds.  Information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it. We also will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips would aid others in growing Carex tumulicola.