Carex Muskingumensis: Palm Sedge Information and Care

Carex Muskingumensis, or Palm Sedge, has beautiful palm-shaped leaves. Why should you consider it and how to grow it?

Carex muskingumensis, often known as Palm sedge, has glossy green leaves that emerge in the shape of palm leaves. It’s a popular landscaping plant that grows well in clay soils and makes an excellent groundcover.

Read on to learn about this grass’s growing conditions, uses, and maintenance requirements.

General Information

Carex muskingumensis is native to Ontario and the Midwest, including Minnesota, Ohio, and Arkansas. The Muskingum River in southeast Ohio gave the grass its name.

This sedge is a clump-forming, semi-evergreen plant with slender, light-green leaf blades that form a clustered foliage. The bright leaves that branch off the main stem in the shape of tiny palm trees earned the Palm sedge its name.

In June and July, golden-brown flowers bloom on stalks up to 30 inches tall. Triangular leafy stems with elliptical inflorescences rise slightly above the leaves. 

Carex muskingumensis grows well in swamps, wet woodlands, bottomland forests, floodplains, and meadows.

muskingumensis plants or grass growing abundantly

Care and Maintenance

The Palm sedge is a low-maintenance grass that grows well in arid environments. It can also grow in locations with unpredictable weather. When grown in perfect conditions, the plant requires minimal care.


Loamy clay, sandy loam, or loamy soil are ideal for cultivation. Plants should be planted at a depth of 1.5 to 3 inches for proper growth. 

Although the plants can tolerate temperatures below 0°F, they will require at least a 12-week frost-free interval to survive. 


This sedge can be propagated through seeding or division. Planting seeds in the spring or fall, and performing division in the fall, is recommended.

Under ideal conditions, the plant spreads through rhizomes or runners, which may eventually naturalize in the area.


This beautiful plant can grow in shallow water (3 to 4 inches deep). If planted in dry locations, it requires thorough and frequent watering, especially during the summer. 


Cut off the flowers after blooming to prevent unwanted seeding. In late winter or early spring, trim back the sedge by up to one-third to restructure and revitalize it. 

Dead foliage should be pruned or combed off when necessary. 

Pruning the sedge of a palm latin carex grass

How to Use It in Landscapes

Palm sedge boasts foliage that is a vibrant green color. This grass is commonly used in bioretention areas for erosion control and stormwater management to help remove contaminants and reduce groundwater overflow. It is ideal for wetland and water gardens.

Because of its beautiful green leaves and golden fall colors, it also makes an excellent centerpiece. Its lustrous foliage is often used for texturing in residential landscaping

Palm sedge is commonly used in wildlife gardens and along roadways. Farmers use it for bulk, deer-resistant planting.

assorted muskingumensis grasses for landscaping

Companion Plants

Sedges look great in mixed plantings, especially with other moisture-loving plants like Juncus or Acorus. They are long-lasting and versatile garden companions.

Here is a list of companion plants that work particularly well with palm sedge.

Anemone canadensis

The gorgeous foliage and sparkling white blooms of the Canada anemone make it an excellent groundcover for moist soils. It spreads swiftly underground via rhizomes.

The word “anemone” means “windflower,” and it refers to the fluffy seeds that some species disperse via the wind. This plant grows in large colonies, and the mass blooming is spectacular.

little white anemone flowers

Asclepias incarnata

Swamp milkweed is a herbaceous perennial in the Apocynaceae family. It blooms from mid-spring to early fall and has exquisite pink to rose-purple flowers.

Milkweed is used as an accent or border in the garden. It sustains Monarch butterfly caterpillars and other pollinators.

Chelone glabra

The white turtlehead is a clump-forming natural wildflower that grows along stream banks, open forests, marshes, flood plains, and swamps. 

It is named for its floral shape, which resembles a turtle poking its head out of its shell. It is a border plant that attracts bumblebees and the occasional hummingbird.

In late summer to fall, the flowers develop on 6- to 8-inch-long spikes and emerge from bottom to top.

little white flowers in the garden blooming during summer

Eupatorium purpureum

This large clumping perennial, commonly known as Sweet Joe, adds architectural character to the summer landscape, mainly because of its attractively textured foliage.

Sweet Joe is a well-behaved garden plant ideal for shaded butterfly gardens. It does well in semi-shaded forest borders.

Jeffrey Douglas
Jeffrey Douglas own a landscaping company and has been in the business for over 20 years. He loves all things related to lawns or gardens and believes that proper maintenance is the key to preventing problems in the first place.
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