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Morrow's sedge

Morrow's sedge, cultivar Ice Dance has striped leaves.

Morrow's sedge is a grass-like plant that can be used as a ground cover.  The plant is most commonly sold as variegated cultivars. 

This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.


Botanical name:

Carex morrowii

All Common Names:

Morrow's sedge, Japanese sedge, Japanese grass sedge

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Grass,
  • Ground cover,
  • Perennial

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Foundation,
  • Massing,
  • Mixed border

Size Range:

  • Small plant (6-12 inches)

Light Exposure:

  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
  • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8,
  • Zone 9

Soil Preference:

  • Acid soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil,
  • Wet soil


  • Wet sites

Season of Interest:

  • Mid spring,
  • Late spring,
  • Early summer,
  • Mid summer,
  • Late summer,
  • Early fall,
  • Mid fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Inconspicuous,
  • Other

Shape or Form:

  • Mounded

Growth Rate:

  • Slow,
  • Moderate

More Information:

Size and Method of spreading

Morrow's sedge is a clumping, grass-like plant that can be used as a ground cover.  It has a mounded form and grows 12 inches high and 12 inches wide.   It is a clump-forming ground cover.  Clump-forming ground covers are plants that are not usually thought of as ground covers.  They are perennials that can be planted closely together to provide the visual effect of a ground cover.

Plant Care

Morrow's sedge prefers to grow in moderate to full shade and requires a consistently moist soil.  It will not tolerate drought.  For best growth, an acidic soil is needed.  To keep the plant tidy, trim it back in spring.

Disease, pests, and problems

Nothing serious.

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to Japan.

Leaf description

Leaves are evergreen to semi-evergreen, depending on climate.  They are 12 inches long and 1/2 inch wide, growing from the base of the plant.  The leaves of the species are green, but cultivars with striped leaves are commonly sold.

Flower description

Sedge flowers are often not very showy and this is the case with Morrow's sedge.  The flowers lack petals and are brown in color.

Fruit description

Not ornamentally important.

Cultivars and their differences

Ice Dance Morrow's sedge (Carex morrowii 'Ice Dance'):  Green leaves edged in white.

Silk Tassels Morrow's sedge (Carex morrowii ' Silk Tassels'):  Narrow, thread-like leaves with white margins.

Silver Sceptre Morrow's sedge (Carex morrowii 'Silver Sceptre'):  Narrow leaves edged in white.

Location of Carex morrowii (Morrow's sedge) at the Arboretum