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Clustered Field Sedge
Carex praegracilis
About Clustered Field Sedge (Carex praegracilis) Nurseries Show All Photos Carex praegracilis is a species in the Cyperaceae (Sedge) family known by the common names clustered field sedge and expressway sedge. It is native to much of North America, from Alaska across southern Canada and throughout the continental United States except for the southeastern region. It grows in wet and seasonally wet environments in a number of habitats, including meadows and wetlands, and is often riparian or semi-riparian in the drier parts of its range. It tolerates disturbed habitat such as roadsides and thrives in alkaline substrates. This sedge produces sharply triangular stems up to 80 or 100 centimeters tall from a network of thin, coarse rhizomes. The flower cluster is a dense, somewhat cylindrical array of flower spikes up to 4 or 5 centimeters long. The plant is often dioecious, with an individual bearing male or female flowers in its flower clusters, but not both. It spreads readily by rhizomes. In the garden it can be useful in poorly draining areas, in the spaces between pavers, and as a replacement for non-native lawn grasses. It has a soft texture, can be mowed, and requires significantly less water.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
2 - 3.5 ft (0.6 - 1.1 m)

Max. Width
3.5 ft (1.1 m)

Upright, Mounding

Growth Rate


Flower Color

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Moist and semi-moist areas such as meadows, seeps, stream banks and lake/pond shoreline


Elevation ?
-16' - 10745'

Annual Precip. ?
3.8" - 95.5"

Summer Precip. ?
0.15" - 2.82"

Coldest Month ?
21.5° F - 56.7° F

Hottest Month ?
43.3° F - 82.7° F

Humidity ?
0.39 vpd - 34.60 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerant of a variety of soils as long as sufficient moisture is provided

Soil Texture

Soil PH
6.0 - 7.0

Soil Toxicity Tolerance
Tolerates Saline Soil, Tolerates Sodic Soil

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to -5° F

Companion Plants
Can be used with other plants of moist or semi-moist areas, including Marsh Elder (Iva hayesiana), Alkali Heath (Frankenia salina), Cardinal Monkeyflower (Mimulus cardinalis), Scarlet Lobelia (Lobelia cardinalis), Yerba Santa (Anemopsis californica), Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium bellum), Marsh Fleabane (Pluchea odorata), Iris sp., Dwarf Juniper (Juniperus communis), Deer Grass (Muhlenbergia sp.), Strawberry (Fragraria sp.), and Rushes (Juncus sp.)

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Low, Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Can be mowed to the ground to create a lawn-like appearance -- it is a useful lawn substitute. Mowing every 4-6 weeks encourages tillering

Pest Control
Quite pest resistant.

Propagation ?
Propogate by bare root divisions.

Common uses
Groundcovers, Deer Resistant

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Expressway Sedge, Slim Sedge

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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