Audubon® Pennsylvania Sedge
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Deservedly popular among the Sedges, Pennsylvania Sedge is—at its best—a soothing, swaying, flowing mass of fine green foliage. Planted en masse like a lawn, it gives the eye a peaceful place to rest. Unlike most lawn grasses, however, Pennsylvania Sedge thrives in dry, shady spaces, making it a smart choice for underneath mature trees. For a more manicured look, you can mow it a couple of times a year, but for maximum wildlife benefit, you’ll want to leave it in its natural state. Small animals will take shelter in the lush foliage, and birds like grouse, Towhees, and Sparrows may enjoy its seeds.
May Benefit & Attract: Sparrows, Towhees, and grouse.
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 3-8
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You may not think of grasses and grass-like plants such as Sedges to be great for the butterfly garden—their flowers are wind pollinated, after all. However, Sedges like Pennsylvania Sedge are indeed valuable to some butterflies (and moths) as food for their young. The caterpillars of many skipper butterflies, the eyed brown, and the Appalachian brown butterfly feed on native Sedge foliage. The pretty Virginia ctenucha, a moth with an iridescent blue body and a bright orange head, also lays its eggs on Sedges. Pennsylvania Sedge feeds caterpillars all over eastern North America. It is native in eastern Canada and all the way down to Oklahoma and Georgia.
Pennsylvania Sedge provides birds with not only seeds to eat, but insect protein as well. Songbirds may feed on the caterpillars they find there, as well as a variety of beetles, bugs, flies, aphids, and leafhoppers.
How to Grow
Unlike most Sedges, Pennsylvania Sedge is not a fan of sunny, wet environments. This one prefers part to deep shade and average moisture. It is quite drought tolerant once established and grows naturally in woodlands, where mature trees make light and water in short supply. It does not need much fertilizer or special care. In winter, Pennsylvania Sedge’s leaves turn a tawny tan color but are still attractive. Leave them standing for winter interest and for wildlife cover. In late February or early March, you can cut them back to allow the newly emerging foliage to take the stage.
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