Chapter 3. Common Native Grasses of the Northern Midwest

3.6 Palm sedge

palm sedge in seed
Palm sedge at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Carex muskingumensis

Cool season; Perennial

Characteristics: 2–3’; upright open; foliage green to yellow; flowers tan; self-seeder

Growing Conditions: full sun to medium shade; self-seeder; hardy zones 3–7

Native to wet areas along rivers and marshes, palm sedge is known for its stiff foliage and the three-ranking leaf arrangement typical of sedges. Easy to grow, it tolerates standing water at lake edges and soils that flood. In ideal sites, plants can be 36” wide, thick, and full. Chartreuse foliage when grown in sun, dark green in shade.

  • ‘Little Midge’: very fine textured, 12-15” tall, stiff three-ranked foliage.
  • ‘Oehme’: has yellow margins, slower growing, very attractive. Named for Wolfgang Oehme.

No records of Lepidoptera feeding on palm sedge were found in the literature, but further research into Lepidoptera larval habits may discover associations in the future.


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Gardening with Native Grasses in Cold Climates by Diane M. Narem and Mary Hockenberry Meyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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