Evergold SedgeCarex oshimensis ‘Evergold’
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Evergold Sedge is a small, grass-like plant that forms clumps of arching and mounding foliage. The slender leaves are about 12 inches long, with a bold golden-yellow stripe down the center. It is evergreen, and makes a bright, low-maintenance ground-cover beneath trees and larger shrubs, and a great filler for planters and container gardening. Flowering is insignificant, and most growth takes place in spring, fall and through winter in warm zones.
The Evergold Sedge grows well in partial or full shade. It is evergreen even in zone 5, and thrives in most parts of the country, tolerating heat and humidity well. It grows in most soils, and although it prefers richer, damp soil, it is one of the most drought tolerant of all the sedges and survives dry summers well. Pests or diseases are normally no problem, and deer leave it alone. An annual trimming in late winter keeps it looking perfect all year round.
To the untrained eye a sedge looks pretty much like an ornamental grass. Botanically different in several features, these plants usually live in different environments too. While most grasses love sun, sedges thrive in partial and even full shade. For gardeners this makes them ideal to bring that soft, ‘grassy’ look to shady areas – and we all know how hard it is to fill shady spots beneath trees and large shrubs. Those places are notorious for dryness and an absence of plants, but with the Evergold Sedge you can turn them into carpets of green and gold. It becomes a low groundcover of slender evergreen leaves that sparkle in the broken sunlight filtering through the leaves, and flutter in the breezes. Adding a layer of leaves and color beneath your shrubs, especially in older gardens, is a wonderful way to enrich the garden experience without taking on extra maintenance work. The Evergold Sedge is more drought resistant than most other sedges, and it is one of the very best groundcover plants there is – you are going to love it.
The Evergold Sedge is a clump-forming grass-like plant forming a dense mound of many slender leaves less than ½ inch wide and about 12 inches long – they can be a little longer or shorter, depending on the exact growing conditions. They rise from the center of the clump and then cascade over, forming a semi-trailing mound of leaves. The leaves have a bold golden-yellow stripe down their center, leaving two thin stripes of green down the edges of each leaf. The overall effect is bright and golden, sparkling as the slightest breeze moves the leaves. The plant is evergreen throughout its hardiness range, with perhaps some die-back of older leaves in mid-winter in the coldest zones. It is a cold-season grower, meaning that most growth takes place in spring, fall, and, in warmer zones, through the winter months. There is little growth in the heat of summer. This plant rarely flowers, and the flowers are short, grass-like brown stems that appear in May, of no decorative significance.
Good tolerance of partial and full shade makes the Evergold Sedge the perfect plant for those dark, difficult places in the garden. Turn ‘dull’ into ‘golden’ with a carpet of gold beneath your larger shrubs, along the edges of paths, and in woodland areas. It looks especially effective falling over rocks, on slopes or the edges of retaining walls, where its semi-cascading form can really be appreciated. This is also a great plant for mixing with small shrubs and flowers in planters, making a lovely contrast with larger leaves and plants with blue or silver foliage.
For groundcover planting, space plants 12 inches apart for a continuous carpet to develop, or up to 24 inches apart for a more open look, mulching the ground between the plants with bark or compost. Older plants can be divided in late winter to increase your supply and fill in gaps.
The Evergold Sedge grows from zone 5 all the way into zone 9, staying green even beneath snow and ice, and looking perfect on winter days in warm zones.
The Evergold Sedge prefers some shade, which gives the best golden color, and it is happy all the way from a little afternoon shade to full dappled shade beneath trees. It will thrive everywhere except in the deep shade beneath large evergreen trees such as spruce or fir. It is perfect for those spots where few plants will grow. It grows in most soils, doing best in moist, rich, well-drained soil. Avoid very dry and sandy areas and water regularly during long dry spells, but this plant is one of the most drought tolerant of all the different sedges.
If this plant does become untidy, simply cut it short in late winter, before any new growth is seen. It will quickly leaf out again, growing quickly during the cool weeks of spring. In warmer zones a raking is usually all that is needed to pull out any dead leaves and freshen it up. This plant has no pests or diseases and deer leave it alone.
There are many different sedges – about 1,800 species – and they are difficult to identify correctly. The Evergold Sedge is most correctly identified as a form of Carex oshimensis, a plant that grows on rocky slopes and dry forest floors on Honshu Island, Japan. There it is called ‘Oshima kan suge’, the Oshima sedge. However, over the years it has been described as Carex hachijoensis, another Japanese sedge, and also Carex morrowii, yet another one. Botanists cannot always agree! This attractive form with a golden stripe down the leaf should correctly be called ‘Evergold’, but ‘Everbright’, ‘Honeybird’, ‘Old Gold’, ‘Aureo-variegata’, and ‘Variegata’ are all alternative names that have been used for the same plant, which has been grown in America since at least the 1980s. Whatever we choose to call it, this is a beautiful groundcover for difficult spots in every garden.
We love ornamental grasses for their beauty and ease of care. Sedges are a great choice for that grassy look in shady spots, and the Evergold Sedge is one of the best, and one of the most drought resistant. It was given the coveted Award of Garden Merit by England’s Royal Horticultural Society in 1993, so you can see how much it is admired. Gardeners who know their stuff seek it out, so our plants will soon be sold out – order now while you still can.