Carex pendula

23 Jun

Carex pendula Seed head (30/05/2012, London)

Carex pendula Seed head (30/05/2012, London)

Position: Full sun to shade

Flowering period: Late spring to early summer

Soil: Moist/ wet

Eventual Height: 1.5m

Eventual Spread: 1m

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b,7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Cyperaceae

Carex pendula is a vigorous, clump forming, evergreen, perennial grass. Its mid green leaves are strap like, smooth, triangular in cross section, up to 1.5m long and 2cm wide. Its green drooping flowers are catkin like, borne on tall arching stems above the leaves, each stem containing male and female flowers, the female flowers being up to 25cm long. Its fruit are brown/ green and up to 5mm long. Its roots are rhizomatous.

Carex pendula, commonly known as Pendulous Sedge, Weeping Sedge or Great pendulous Sedge, is native to western, central and southern Europe (including the UK) and north west Africa. In its native habitat it occurs in damp woodlands, scrub lands and stream sides. Carex pendula is synonymous with Carex maxima. This plant will self seed readily, given the correct conditions, and may spread. It is considdered an invasive species in the Portland and Seattle metro regions of the USA and New Zealand.

Carex pendula (30/05/2012, London)

Carex pendula (30/05/2012, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Carex is from the old Latin name for reed grasses, sedges and rushes. Pendula is derived from the Latin pendeo meaning ‘to hang’.

The landscape architect may find  Carex pendula useful in naturalist planting schemes, including woodland pond margins. It is also very useful in shady locations where the soils is damp/ wet.

Ecologically, Carex pendula provides shelter for amphibians and nectar for insects.

Carex pendula prefers moist, fertile soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will tolerate heavy soils. It will tolerate permanently wet soils.

Carex pendula requires little maintenance. Self seeded seedling may be removed.


2 Responses to “Carex pendula”

  1. Christian Haaning 20/12/2013 at 16:21 #

    WARNING!!!!! This plant is an invasive species in the Portland and Seattle metro regions. It is also considered invasive in New Zealand were it was introduced by landscapers.

    Please, if you are dissemminating plant knowledge to the general public. It is your responsibility to educate them on the harmful effects to the community at large.

    • Davis Landscape Architecture 20/12/2013 at 17:00 #

      Christian, thank you for you comment. We do try to flag up any issues on the potential invasive nature of plant species, with a global perspective. Occasionally we may miss this information. On these occasions we are reliant on our readers to flag up our omission. To those readers that make the effort, thank you.

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