Saturday 3 June 2023

Garden thugs - Carex pendula


                                                   Garden thugs - Carex pendula

Pendulous sedge grows freely in our garden, rather too freely for my liking. The RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) says, ‘It makes an interesting garden perennial, best grown in a cool, damp soil . . . It seeds freely and can become a troublesome weed.’

I note that people can actually buy this plant - £9:99 for a 2 litre pot from one supplier, or £9:99 for a 1 litre pot from another, or even £11:99 from another nursery, £12:95 elsewhere – it pays to shop around. Perhaps I should pot up our clumps and sell them at the garden gate, though I’d have to build a gate, first. I don’t know where ours came from. I have never bought ornamental grasses. I think they look fantastic in the wild and there are plenty of this particular example growing in the local woods.


This sedge is the bane of my life. No sooner have I yanked up one plant than another pops up. When it’s young it’s reasonably easy to pull up but once it gets its feet down it is very hard to remove. It’s a sneaky plant, slipping almost unseen into small cracks and crevices, and it seems to grow incredibly quickly. It’s an evergreen and provides shelter for overwintering insects, which is obviously a point in its favour, I grudgingly admit.

   I’ve just discovered that it should not be cut back in autumn or winter, so clearly that’s something I shall have to try in order to get rid of it. It’s either that or let it take over the whole front and back gardens. As it can grow up to 1.8 metres – that’s 5’ 9”, slightly taller than me! – I could play ‘Lost in the forest’. The cats would love to have their own jungle to hunt through.

 The seeds of pendulous sedge are edible. The husks have to be removed to access the small brown seeds (a note to myself, this is called winnowing!) then the seeds can be toasted and added to bread mixes or salads, or ground into flour.

The leaves can be dried and twisted into rope or woven into matting. They can also be thrashed and used to insulate clothing.

I see the foundations of a cottage industry here - nursery plants at the non-existent garden gate, bread and flour from the cottage door, woven mats and hanks of rope to order. A bright new future beckons.

Sedges have edges, 

Reeds are round,   

Grasses have knees 

That bend to the ground.


  1. Thankfully, we don't have sedge in our garden. Your idea of potting some up and selling it isn't bad at all, seeing those nursery prices :-) xxx

  2. We don't get enough passing traffic to make it worthwhile - translated as 'can't be bothered'! x x x


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