Berkeley Sedge

Carex Divulsa

Berkeley sedge makes an eye-catching groundcover, and is becoming more popular as a replacement for traditional turf lawns. It’s evergreen here in Central Texas, and easily takes winter temperatures well-below freezing.

Berkeley sedge doesn’t spread out carpet-style, like a traditional lawn would, but instead grows in clumps, giving your yard a very distinctive look, more akin to an alpine meadow.

Growing to about a foot tall or maybe a little taller, and about as wide usually, the long, delicate-looking leaves of Berkeley sedge tend to lay over, creating a cascading look that is quite striking.

It performs best in bright shade to sun, and may struggle to get going in heavy shade. Berkeley sedge will also limp along and look a bit ragged during the hottest, driest times of year, and does need a bit of supplemental irrigation to do well.

The most show-stopping seasons for this plant are spring and fall, when the temperatures are cooler and rainfall is normally plentiful. You’ll never need to mow Berkeley sedge, unless you want to a little clean up.

If you have an area of Berkeley sedge growing under deciduous trees, as most people do, it’s perfectly fine to use your mulching mower to collect the leaves and give the sedge lawn a little haircut at the same time, just be sure to set your mower on the tallest mowing height.

You can also use Berkeley sedge as more of an accent plant, along borders and filling in around perennial beds. It tolerates most soil types, from heavy clay to loose and well-drained.

Our Viewer Picture goes to Katherine Carrington who peps up her winter container with vibrant ornamental cabbage and pansies.