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Products > Carex 'The Beatles'
 
Carex 'The Beatles' - The Beatles Sedge
   

 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass-like
Family: Cyperaceae (Sedges)
Origin: Europe, Central (Europe)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Gold
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Parentage: (C. digitata and C. ornithopoda?)
Height: <1 foot
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): High Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10 F
Carex 'The Beatles' (The Beetles Sedge) - A slowly spreading clump forming sedge to 3 to 6 inches tall (some say to 8 inches but we have never seen this plant much taller than 4 inches!) with narrow dark green leaves and fuzzy golden brown flowers rising just about the foliage in late spring to early summer. Plant in a well-drained soil in full coastal sun or in light shade and irrigate regularly to occasionally - requires more regular water in sun and has the best dark foliage when grown in shade. It is hardy to 0 F. This is one the most attractive of the low-growing clumping sedges. With its very short rhizomes it gradually forms a tight mop-head-like clump and it useful in the garden in shade or cool coastal sun as groundcover, along the garden path, between stepping stones, as a filler between other taller plants in a mixed meadow planting and as a component of a roof-top garden. Though it tolerates light foot traffic and is great between stepping stones, its clump forming habit is best used in spots that it is not directly walked upon regularly. It is resistant to deer predation and its even grows well in a wet pond edge or bog marginal setting. This plant has been in the nursery trade in the US since the mid 1980s after being introduced to the European market at the Liverpool Garden Exhibition in England in 1984 - a fitting such location as was home to the Beatles music group which the plant was named to honor. There are many ideas about its actual identity. Some list it as a cultivar of the European Glossy Forest Sedge, Carex speciosa, others as a cultivar of the American Spring Sedge, Carex caryophyllea or the Japanese sedge, C. conica. It is also occasionally listed as being a hybrid of garden origin and opinions on the parents have changed over time. John Greenlee, from whom we first got this plant from in 1989, first listed it in his 1992 The Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses as a plant of "questionable parentage" but presumed to be a hybrid between the Fingered Sedge, C. digitata, and the Bird's-foot Sedge, C. ornithopoda. In his more recent American Meadow Garden, published in 2009, Greenlee speculated that it is C. caryophyllea hybrid. Rick Darke in his 1999 The Color Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses noted it likely a C. caryophyllea hybrid, but then suggests it a hybrid between C. digitata and C. ornithopoda, in his 2007 Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes Whatever its parentage, it is a very nice plant! The cultivar name is certainly descriptive as its mop-like habit does resemble the hair styles of the Fab Four and it is also from this habit that it has gained the common name "Mushroom Sedge".  The information on this page is based on research conducted about this plant in the San Marcos Growers library, from online sources, and from observations made of the crops growing in our nursery, plants in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we may have observed it. We also have incorporated comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Carex 'The Beatles'.
 
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