Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Carex divulsa (formerly c. tumicola)

Common Name
Berkeley Sedge
CA Native
California Native
Plant Type
Grass or grass-like plant
2' x 2'
Flower Color
Inconspicuous Brown
Bloom Time
  • Spring
  • Summer
Thin Evergreen Blades
Deer Resistant
Rarely Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Seed and Fruit for Birds
Growth Rate
Adverse Growth Factors
Special Features
  • Good Under Oaks
  • Low Maintenance
Water Use
  • Drought Tolerant
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
  • Shade
Soil Type
Not Particular
Good Drainage
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

This clumping, evergreen Carex is best for creating a lush, meadow-like, natural effect.  Because it forms grass-like arching growth, it can be planted closely in clumps for a lawn substitute.  It is an excellent, very tough groundcover for shade (or sun) and is a good understory planting and happily tolerates tree root competition.  It can take traffic, both two and four-footed, and can take considerable abuse, making it a good plant for dog runs or play areas.  It doesn't require mowing but can be mowed for a more lawn-like effect or can be cut back once or twice a year to keep it fresh and tidy looking.  Can become drought tolerant but looks better with regular watering.  Can tolerate wet or boggy areas as well.

Master Gardener Comments

This Carex is happiest when planted in light shade with regular irrigation but can really stretch into many different environments.  Very versatile plant!

Propagation easy by seed or division in fall or spring.


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