Carex gravida - Heavy Sedge
Heavy Sedge (Carex gravida) is a low-growing perennial sedge that prefers dryer soils. It closely resembles other sedges, but can be distinguished by its more compact and chunky cluster of oval spikes. It produces 5 to 15 spikes that all crowd the tip of the stem up to 2 inches long, and turn from green to brown at maturity. The species name "gravida" means "heavy" and was rightfully named since its spikey seedheads tend to bend the slender stems down to the ground.
Soil Moisture: Moderate, Dry
Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Partial Shade
Spread: 12 - 18 inches
Hardiness Zone: 3 - 7
Bloom Color: Green, Brown
Bloom Time: June, July
Carex is one of the largest genera of plants with about 2,000 species and a distribution almost worldwide except for tropical lowlands and in sub-Saharan Africa. All Carex are perennial, and are most commonly found in moist to wet habitats. They are also known for their distinct, condensed inflorescences or spikelets that have gained popularity as ornamental in recent years. Sedges are important in peat deposits and often used as forage for livestock, but surprisingly have a rather limited economic utility considering how widespread their distribution is.
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