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‘Sparkler’ Carex – a great plant

January 5, 2017

Sparkler Carex


What is deer resistant, grows in part to full shade, has varigated leaves, likes wet soil, has no serious pests and will naturalize and spread?

Carex phyllocephala ‘Sparkler’ – photo by Laura McKillop

Carex phyllocephala ‘Sparkler’


‘Sparkler’ Carex or sedge thrives in moist, organically rich soils so it is perfect for rain gardens or heavy soil. It is considered to be winter hardy to USDA Zone 7 (hardy to 10 degrees). It can be grown as an annual is colder regions.
‘Sparkler’ is clump-forming and has whorl-like clusters of grass-like, variegated leaves at the end of each 12″ – 24″ tall stem. This makes it look like a mini palm of narrow leaves with broad white margins. Tony Avent describes Carex Sparkler as “a grove of miniature variegated palm trees.”


photo taken by Laura McKillop in the conservatory at Longwood Gardens

In southern locations where plants are reliably winter hardy, you can grown them in a mass in a shady spot..in colder areas you can grow them in planters to light up a shady corner. It is also great for cut flower arrangements.

This Japanese import looks lovely among ferns in the woodland garden or along a border. Tell your garden center to order it now for next spring!