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A Sedge by Another Name

Articles: A Sedge by Another Name

Diagnostic features of sand-dune sedge (Carex pansa) and clustered field sedge (C. praegracilis). Adapted from HL Mason (1969), A Flora of the Marshes of California, and KK Mackenzie (1940), North American Cariceae

The search for more water-sensible surrogates for traditional turf grasses has focused attention on some long overlooked native sedges of the genus Carex that continue to gain popularity and presence in West Coast gardens. A vigorously rhizomatous sedge complex, presently sold as dune sedge, sand-dune sedge, California meadow sedge, or Western meadow sedge, is particularly valuable for lush swards, play areas, dog runs, bank stabilization, oak understory, pond margins, and retention basins. Over the past decade, the horticultural merit of this sedge complex became clear, even as the application of botanical and vernacular names for it grew increasingly blurred.

As with the true grasses, sedges produce small, highly reduced flowers within bracts representing modified leaves or other accessory structures. The relatively small sized, indistinct, and uniquely named inflorescence parts make grass and...

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Articles: Calochortophilia: A Californian’s Love Affair with a Genus by Katherine Renz

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