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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
Flowers tested by K-State for the prairie climate
Bronze sedges: ornamental or dead-looking?
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About this blog
By Dr. Stevens
Dr. Stevens has been at Kansas State University for over 20 years researching flowers. He serves as the State Extension Specialist in Floriculture and is director of the Horticulture Research Center in Olathe, KS Robin R. Dremsa is a Research ...
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Prairie Star Flowers
Dr. Stevens has been at Kansas State University for over 20 years researching flowers. He serves as the State Extension Specialist in Floriculture and is director of the Horticulture Research Center in Olathe, KS Robin R. Dremsa is a Research Associate who manages the flower trials. She's been at the K-State Hort. Research & Extension Center since 2007.
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An ongoing debate we have at the research trials is whether or not the bronze/red/brown sedges we test have merit as ornamental plants, or if people are using plants that already look dried out and dead.  It seems to come down to a matter of personal taste!  What do you think? 

A very important point to consider when using these bronze colored plants is that you must pay attention to the surroundings before you plant them.  A brown grass planted in brown mulch will not give the color contrast you need!  Instead, use them in colorful containers or surround them with brightly colored plants or different colored hardscaping (rocks, pavers) to make their unusual foliage stand out. 

Below are pictures of cultivars we have trialed in the last 5 years.  They range from the tall and curly to the soft and cascading.  Some of them overwintered depending on the winter and their location, but were not reliable enough for us to call them perennials.



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Carex 'Red Rooster'
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Carex 'Bronzita'
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Carex 'Prairie Fire'
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Carex 'Toffee Twist'
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Carex buchananii - Red Fox Curly Sedge

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