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Gardening 101: Amazon Mist Sedge

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Gardening 101: Amazon Mist Sedge

November 21, 2016

Amazon Mist Sedge, Carex comans: “New Zealand Hair Grass”

Resembling a fabulously dense head of hair, Carex comans ‘Amazon Mist’ has always reminded me a bit of Cousin Itt from the Addams Family. It’s got a perfectly symmetrical form, its blades are always in place, it always looks about the same length…and you’ll never know what’s underneath all those long strands. All of which, in my mind, makes it a perfect addition to any small garden space:

Photography by Meredith Swinehart except where noted.

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Above: Also known as New Zealand hair sedge, this grass grows in clumps that usually top out at about a foot tall and wide (though it can get taller and much wider in certain conditions). Its fine blades are frosty green on top and nearly white underneath, which gives a shimmering effect when it blows in the wind or the sun hits it at the right angle.

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Above: “Carex ‘Amazon Mist’ is one of my go-to grasses because it pairs well with so many other plants, and it grows in a small, neat clump that looks beautifully delicate when spilling over the front of a pot,” writes Julie Chai. “This Carex has super thin blades that are pale green and silver on the undersides, giving it a shimmery look.”

For more, see DIY Outdoor Planter: Summer-to-Fall Leaves.

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Above: Three varieties of sedge, including ‘Amazon Mist’ (in the middle) are available for sale at Atlantic Avenue Garden. Photograph via Atlantic Avenue Garden.

Cheat Sheet

  • Evergreen in areas with mild winters.
  • Can be used as a short-lived lawn substitute.
  • Happy companions include yarrow, salvia, lavender, black mondo grass, fescue, nemesia, and bacopa.

Keep It Alive

  • Thrive in a range of sun exposures.
  • Water regularly as it’s growing in; mature grasses require little water.
  • Best to plant in spring or fall.

You can best take advantage of the natural good looks of  ‘Amazon Mist’  by planting it where foliage can spill, such as the front of a container or hanging basket, at the edge of a retaining wall, or in a rock garden. This versatile grass needs minimal care—just comb through it with your fingers now and then to remove any brown blades.

Are you thinking of adding grasses to your garden design? For inspiration, see our recent posts on Muhly Grass, Fescues, and Fountain Grass.

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