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What Is a Japanese Sedge?

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  • Written By: Marjorie McAtee
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2014
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Japanese sedge, also known as evergold or Carex hachijoensis, is an ornamental grass related to bamboo. These evergreen perennials are native to Japan. They typically thrive best in moist, well-drained soil and shady areas. They are usually grown for their attractive foliage, which is generally green with wide yellowish stripes.

The Japanese sedge may be easily confused with the variegated Japanese sedge, or Carex morrowii. While similar in appearance, the Carex morrowii is generally more drought resistant and may thrive better in full sunlight.

Evergold Japanese sedge grass typically reaches heights of 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm). These are hardy plants, generally able to withstand temperatures as low as -20 degrees F (-28.8 degrees C). They typically prefer cooler climates, and may not thrive at temperatures above 15 degrees F (-9.4 degrees C). These plants usually thrive best in partial to full shade, and are considered to have average water needs. Gardeners are often advised to keep soil evenly moist and well-drained.

These plants usually put forth clumps of foliage. Leaves are typically long and arched. Foliage is generally dark green in hue around the edges, with a noticeable gold stripe down the center of each leaf. Blooms may or may not appear in late spring. When they do, they are in the form of brownish flower spikes about 0.5 to 1.25 (1.3 to 3.18 cm) long; flower spikes typically appear on stems up to 6 inches (15 cm) long.

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The Japanese sedge typically has no fragrance and produces no fruit. The evergreen foliage is usually glossy and fine in texture. Though these plants are evergreen, many gardeners believe that trimming them back by as much as two-thirds can improve foliage quality. Plants are also generally best re-planted and transplanted in the early spring.

Evergold grasses are considered neither invasive nor self-propagating, making them an excellent border plant for shady garden areas. They are considered hardy enough to grow in all regions, and have been found thriving in the wild in both alpine and tropical climes. These plants can be propagated by dividing the root ball and replanting in early spring.

They can also be propagated by seed. Seed heads should generally be allowed to dry while still on the plant. After the seed heads have dried, they may be removed and new plants may often be successfully propagated from the seeds.

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