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Carex morrowii 'Silver Sceptre'

Silver Sceptre sedge

Native to Japan


FIRST IMPRESSIONS:  Carex morrowii ‘Silver Sceptre’ is a low rhizomatous perennial sedge.  Foliage is evergreen or semi-evergreen and arching.  Blades are variegated with an jade green stripe down the center and crisp cream white along the edges.  This cultivar prospers in moist well-drained or wet soils in part shade to shade. 

HABITAT & HARDINESS:  The parent species Carex morrowii occurs on forested slopes in Japan’s volcanic Izu Islands.

Plants are hardy from USDA Zones 5-9. 

PLANT DESCRIPTION:  Carex morrowii ‘Silver Sceptre’ forms handsome tussocks of arching evergreen foliage. 

Blades are narrow and about 1/2” wide and 15” long.  The leathery foliage has a striking jade green center and jade green color edges. 

In spring insignificant brownish flower spikes appear followed by clusters of brown seed.

‘Silver Sceptre’ averages 12” height with 12” spread.

CULTURAL & MAINTENANCE NEEDS:  Carex morrowii ‘Silver Sceptre’ prospers in partly shaded sites to full shade with rich moist well drained soil. 

Plants tolerate partial sun and average garden soil.  This cultivar will thrive in full sun in cooler regions if soil is consistently moist. 

This is a cool season sedge that does much of its growing during chilly weather.  Mulch helps to protect roots from cold and conserve water in summer.  Plants should be groomed or cut to the ground in late winter to remove tattered foliage and make way for new foliage.

This sedge is pest resistant and fairly unpalatable to deer and other herbivores.

Plants spread slowly by rhizomes to form colonies or masses.  ‘Silver Sceptre’ is not excessively invasive but is vigorous enough to be competitive with weeds.

LANDSCAPE USES:  Carex morrowii ‘Silver Sceptre’ is a handsome Groundcover that brightens the Shade Garden.  The cultivar is sometimes used as an Accent, Edging or Container Specimen.  The foliage is lovely when planted at the margin of a Water Garden and observed in reflection. This sedge provides Winter Interest to Deer Resistant Plantings, Perennial Borders, Rain Gardens or Rock Gardens. 

COMPANION & UNDERSTUDY PLANTS:  Try pairing Carex morrowii ‘Silver Sceptre’ with Heuchera americana 'Dales Strain', Iris cristata, or Phlox divaricata.  This cultivar pairs nicely with exotic hostas and is an appropriate substitute for Asian Liriope spp. groundcovers.

Carex ‘Evergold’ or Carex ‘Ice Dance’ is another exotic sedge with colorful foliage that can be substituted if needed. ‘

TRIVIA:   Carex spp. is a large genus containing over 1500 species and numerous cultivars of these species.  The study of Carex is known as caricology.


Height:

8-12 in

Spread:

8-12 in

Spacing:

12-18 in

USDA Hardiness Zone:

5 - 9

Bloom Color:

Tan

Carex morrowii 'Silver Sceptre' Characteristics

Attracts Wildlife

  • Pollinators

Exposure

  • Partial Shade to Full Shade

Attributes

  • Ground Cover
  • Interesting Foliage
  • Rain Garden
  • Evergreen
  • Clay Soil
  • Bog

Deer Resistant

  • Deer Resistant

Flowering Months

  • May

Foliage Color

  • White/Cream Variegation

Grass Season

  • Cool Season Grass

Growth Rate

  • Medium

Lawn Replacement or Groundcover

  • Groundcover

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Spring
  • Winter
  • Fall
  • Summer

Soil Moisture Preference

  • Moist to Wet

Plants that work well with Carex morrowii 'Silver Sceptre'

Dales alum root Dales alum root (Heuchera americana 'Dales Strain')
Woodland Phlox Woodland Phlox (Phlox divaricata)

Substitutions for Carex morrowii 'Silver Sceptre'

Frosted Curls Sedge Frosted Curls Sedge (Carex comans 'Frosted Curls')
Evergold Sedge Evergold Sedge (Carex oshimensis 'Evergold')