Carex, or Japanese sedge grass, is a staple of the British garden. It’s compact, growing no larger than about 30cm tall, so it’s brilliant for filling gaps in flower beds or potted arrangements.
It’s not a plant made to be the star of the show, but one to support showier growers. Its simple, striped leaves make a stylish backdrop for flowering plants. Or you can arrange it with other grasses for a low-effort display that will fill your garden or balcony with the soft sound of wind rustling through leaves.
Originally from Japan, carex is incredibly easy to look after. It likes moist soil, so be sure to keep it regularly topped up, but other than that there’s little it needs. It’s evergreen, so will give you subtle colour all year round, including some modest brown flowers in summer. Once a year, give it a brush through with your hands to remove old, dead growth.
Did you know?
Fossils of carex fruits from the Miocene era have been found in Denmark, meaning this plant has existed in some form for at least 15 million years.