Slough Sedge Seeds (Carex obnupta)
Slough sedge is a cornerstone species in many damp meadows and wetlands along the West Coast. It extends from California to southern Alaska, and inland to the western slope of the Cascades.
This plant is a visual standout for its black-bronze seed-heads, which are food for waterfowl. Our humble native Townsend’s vole feed on the rhizomes, and we sometimes see our remarkable local blue-morph garter snakes taking cover below the dense foliage.
You can frequently see slough sedge in coastal wetlands and estuaries, and in the backwater floodplains of rivers, but it also gets used with good results in urban bioswales. It’s slightly salt tolerant, and generally evergreen.
Sedges tend to get overlooked as restoration plants, which is unfortunate. Slough sedge is not only deer resistant, but also copes with less than pristine urban rainwater runoff. It’s a butterfly host plant, feeding the caterpillars of the Umber skipper (Poanes melane), the Dun skipper (Euphyes vestris), and the common ringlet (Coenonympha tullia). It’s even suitable for basketry!
A few key things to know about this fine plant: First, it has sharp leaf edges, so it’s best handled with mindful intent. Second, its strongly rhizomatous growth habit makes it a very good choice for stabilizing water edges against erosion, as well as for holding ground against wetland invasives such as reed canary grass.
2.0 grams (Approximately 400 - 800 seeds)