Perry's Perennial Pages

Carex  'Ice Dance'

    Perennial of the Month-- November 2002 

(care' ex) (pronunciation at link, turn up volume if too low)

Common name: Ice Dance Sedge

Family: Cyperaceae, Sedge

Height x width: 12-15" high and wide

Growth rate: moderate, may slowly spread in warm climates

Foliage: clustered, basal grass-like leaves usually forming open clump, 1/4" wide being wider than most sedges, distinct variegation with creamy-white margins and dark green centers; stems are triangular compared to rounded grass stems, flower stems are solid without nodes compared to grasses usually hollow with nodes; where blade and sheath join (ligule) is generally absent in sedges but conspicuous in grasses

Flowers: insignificant if seen

Hardiness: zones 4 to 9

Soil: moist, organic and well-drained preferred, will tolerate some wet or drought

Light: part shade to sun in hot climates, does well in full sun in cooler climates

Pests and Problems: few serious

Landscape habit, uses: massing, edging, fronts of borders, containers; would combine well with other variegated plants such as Japanese painted fern or hostas in shade, or blue grasses or sedges in sun

Other interest: genus name from the Greek keiro meaning to cut, refering to the sharp edge of leaf margins; selected by well-known horticulturist Barry Yinger during a collection trip to Japan, it was introduced in 1996 by Hines wholesale nursery in California; formerly listed under morrowii

Other culture: low maintenance, cut back previous year's foliage in spring if winter injured as may happen in zone 4, but recovers quite soon

Propagation: spring division

Sources: many local and mail order/online catalogs

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