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Carex pensylvanica

Pennsylvania Sedge /

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This sedge forms short clusters and spreads slowly by rhizomes to form a lush carpet. This thick mat of growth provides excellent seasonal cover for foraging small songbirds and the insects and other small animals they love to eat. Reddish-brown, thimble-like flowers top the narrow, fine textured leaves in spring. A number of birds and small mammals feed on the seeds.


  • Excellent ground cover for dry shade
  • Provides seasonal cover for birds and other woodland wildlife
  • Birds and small mammals feed on the seed
  • Semi-evergreen lawn alternative
  • Deer resistant

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Grows easily in full sun, part shade and shade. Ideal for planting under deciduous trees. Plant in well-drained soil with average moisture. Will grow in infertile, slightly acidic soil, dry soil.

6-8 Inches


6-8 Inches

USDA Hardiness Zone 4-8

Native Range

From Southern Maine west to Wisconsin south to Arkansas and Georgia.

Native Trivia

Most ornamental sedges grow best in moist or wet soil, but Pennsylvania Sedge is an exception to that rule. It thrives in dry soil and remains lush while binding the soil with its dense roots.

"This is one of the most important cover plants for chipmunk's dry, shady neighborhood."

Good Companions
Southern Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla sessilifolia), Piedmont roseling or spiderwort (Callisia rosea)

Characteristics & Attributes

Plan Sub Group
  • Low Grasses
  • Filtered Shade
  • Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
  • Shade
  • Sun
Soil Moisture Preference
  • Average
  • Dry
Attracts Wildlife
  • Mammals
  • Songbirds
Bloom Time
  • Early Spring
Critter Resistance
  • Deer Resistant
Habitat Collection
  • Dry Shade
  • Songbird
Foliage Color
  • Green
  • Red-Purple
  • Ground cover
Native to
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin