Carex testacea – New Zealand hair sedge

Louise Sims

Like a constant friend who goes way back, so does my plant this week. I’ve had it for as long as I can remember, always there in a pot outside the front door, giving me pleasure each time I pass, and it’s also a terrific foil to other plants. Evergreen and seemingly never having an off-day, it is the warm coppery orange leaves that make this grass so compelling, whose subtle colour-changes through each season prevent it from becoming boring. However, it is at this time of the year when the sun’s evening rays come slanting through the arching leaves, that the entire plant glows as if on fire.

Like many grasses, C. testacea needs an open sunny position in well drained soil, and it looks superb in a pot. The rather insignificant flowers arrive in midsummer, and this year for the first time ever, I have found two seedlings in the gravel drive. I shall leave them ….. invariably self sown plants position themselves in the perfect spot, and repetition in any planting scheme is good.

This sedge from New Zealand is the ultimate low-maintenance plant. Occasionally it needs a tidy-up, a comb through to remove the oldest leaves, and if you aren’t lucky enough to find seedlings, you can always lift and divide it (April is best) and get your extra plants that way.

 
Great Plants this Month, Summer

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.