Common bur sedge (Carex grayi)

Common bur sedge (Carex grayi)

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Carex grayi, 1/2-pint plug

Exposure: Full Sun-Partial Shade

Description: a beautiful ornamental sedge suitable for pond margins, water features, or any setting with consistent moisture. The remarkable spiked flowers form star-like seed heads which persist into autumn and winter for extended seasonal interest. The unique seeds are a source of food for waterfowl as well as songbirds, making this a good sedge species for the water garden or wildlife garden. Bur Sedge spreads slowly to form an attractive clump in medium to wet soils.

Attracts: This sedge is somewhat unusual in that it occurs in both wetlands and woodlands. Insects that feed on such sedges (Carex spp.) include caterpillars of the butterflySatyrodes appalachia (Appalachian Brown), leaf-mining larvae of the moths Elachista argentosa and Elachista madarella, larvae of the moth Amphipoea americana (American Ear Moth), larvae of Sphenophorus costicollis (Sedge Billbug), and the aphid Carolinaia caricis. The seeds and seedheads of sedges are fairly important sources of food for various birds. The seeds of sedges that occur in swampy woodlands are eaten by such birds as the Ruffed Grouse, Wild Turkey, Wood Duck, American Woodcock, and Swamp Sparrow. The Muskrat occasionally feeds on the rhizomes, culms, and young shoots of sedges, while the White-Tailed Deer feeds on their foliage sparingly.