Gardening Magazine

Carex Secta

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Carex secta (19/04/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Carex secta (19/04/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 1m

Eventual Spread: 90cm

Hardiness: 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b

Family: Cyperaceae

Carex secta is an evergreen grass with a mound forming habit. Its glossy mid green leaves are strap shaped arching, up to 1m long and 7mm broad. With time this plant’s dead leaves and associated roots give this grass the appearance of a central stem. Its flowers appear as a loosely branched panicle which is up to 1m long.

Carex secta, commonly known as Purei, Pukio or Makura, is native to most of New Zealand. In its native habitat it grow in damp to wet (not flowing) places.

The etymological root of the binomial name Carex is from the old Latin name for reed grasses, sedges and rushes. Secta is derived from the Latin sectus meaning ‘cut’, in reference to its leaves.

Carex secta Leaf (19/04/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Carex secta Leaf (19/04/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find Carex secta useful as an attractive evergreen grass which is suitable for wet conditions such a pond or stream banks (although it will tolerate dryer conditions).

Ecologically, Carex secta seeds are attractive to some birds.

Carex secta prefers moist to wet, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Carex secta requires little maintenance.

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