As a young plant the copper fine-textured leaves of Carex flagellifera 'Bronzita' are tufted and erect in growth, as it matures the upright leaves arch over to the ground.
Growing 35 to 50 cm (14 to 20in) tall, the high arching clumps are very attractive and at their most effective when planted quite close together.
Hardy, low maintenance and evergreen in mild climates, it can be grown in full sun or part shade. When grown in full shade, the leaves appear more a reddish-green colour.
Carex has long been popular with garden designers because of its colour and form. It gives great contrast capabilities and is very low maintenance. This sedge will quietly enhance any landscape for many years with minimal care.
This all round tough plant is suitable for problem areas, quickly becomes established in borders or containers. It is extremely versatile with regard to soil types, tolerating dryness, salt winds and sandy drought-prone soils and yet will adapt to quite moist situations. Hardy to around minus 10°C (14°F). It is disease, pest resistant and evergreen and will provide valuable winter interest to the garden.
Carex is outstanding when planted with silver foliage plants, brightly coloured flowers or variegated grasses. They give colour, texture and movement in the perennial garden. They look good as a specimen in a pot or planted informally in groups or 3, 5 or more, dotted among herbaceous plants and ground cover.
They are at their most effective when planted close together in show-stopping block planting. For glorious colour, plant in full sun to partial shade.
Sow indoors in late Winter to early Spring or in Autumn or direct sow on open ground from March onwards.
Sowing indoors: Sow on to the surface of a free-draining, moist seed-sowing compost and cover with 3 to 4mm (¼in) of vermiculite. Do not exclude light as this helps germination. Keep at around 15 to 20°C (60 to 68°F).
Germination should take place in approximately two weeks. Maintain a temperature of 15°C (60°F) until the seedlings are established.
Once seedlings are large enough to handle, take a small clump of seedlings and put them all in a one-litre pot of gritty compost. They will form a bushy plant and be ready to go into the garden in summer. Grow in sun and in well drained soil.
Direct sowing: Ensure all ground is weed free and well prepared before sowing. Sow the seed 2 to 3cm (¾ to1¼in) deep in rows 60 to 90cm (25 to 35in) apart with a distance of 10 to 30cm (4 to 12in) between the plants.
The rate and speed of germination will depend on the soil temperature and weather conditions and could be from 7 to 21 days.
In spring comb through the plant with your fingers to remove dead foliage. Feed in summer with single dressing of a dilute general fertiliser. Even without an annual feed, most grasses will put on a first-rate show. The more nitrogen grasses receive the greener and further they'll grow. Do not over do it…their spreading habit is fine in a field, but in a garden they may become too lush and the flower quality may suffer.
Cut back old foliage to 10cm (4in) in spring as new growth appears in the centres of plants. Divide congested plants in April to June.
Beds and borders, City and Courtyard Gardens, Containers, Cottage/Informal, Foliage, Prairie planting. Flower arrangements. Low Maintenance or Mediterranean. Maritime gardens
Native to New Zealand, This species is endemic to the North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands. Its natural habitat is in coastal to montane. Usually in free draining soils under scrub or open forest. Rarely in wetlands or in permanently damp, shaded sites.
Carex flagellifera belongs to a complex of allied species which include the South Island, ultramafic endemic C. devia Cheesemanii, C. raoulii Boott, C. testacea Solander ex Boott and C. goyenii Petrie.
From all these species it is best distinguished by its usually long trailing fruiting culms, narrow, channelled leaves, and usually distant, pendent female spikes. It is perhaps closest to C. testacea (itself a species complex). From that species, at least in its typical form it differs by the usually yellow-green to dark green, rather than orange-red to red-green culms, and red brown to dark red-brown, subcoriaceous rather than membranous, light brown glumes, which lack the numerous fine, red-brown striae typical of the most widespread form of C. testacea.
Pronounced KAIR-ecks fladge-ih-LIFF-ur-uh. The genus name Carex is the classical Latin name for a species of sedge, now applied to the whole group.
The species name flagellifera means ‘bearing a whip-like appendage’. It derives from the Latin flagrum meaning 'whip' and ferre meaning 'to bear' (e.g. nucifera, ‘nut-bearing’ or mellifera, ‘honey-bearing’).
Common names for this species are Weeping Copper Sedge, Glen Murray Tussock and Trip Me Up
Synonym: Carex Lucida Boott
- Additional Information
Packet Size 25 Seeds Common Name Weeping Copper Sedge, Trip Me Up Other Common Names Glen Murray Tussock Family Cyperaceae Genus Carex Species flagellifera Cultivar Bronzita Synonym Carex Lucida Boott Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Flowers are inconspicuous in among the foliage Natural Flower Time Summer Foliage Copper fine-textured leaves Height 35cm (14in) Spread 60cm (24in) Position Full sun preferred. Aspect All aspects. Exposed or Sheltered Soil Carex will adapt to most situations, but prefers light, moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil. Time to Sow Sow indoors in late Winter to early Spring or in Autumn or direct sow on open ground from March onwards. Germination 7 to 21 days dependent on temperature.