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Carex muskingumensis 'Little Midge'

Little Midge Palm sedge


FIRST IMPRESSIONS:  Carex muskingumensis ‘Little Midge' is a dense clump forming moisture loving sedge.  Leaves are attractive and bright green with a clear yellow border. The leaf arrangement and shape is reminiscent of a palm frond.  In summer triangular leafy culms rise slightly above the foliage bearing inconspicuous narrow ellipse shaped spikelets.  This sedge adapts best to wet shaded or partly shaded sites.  Plants will grow in sun if sufficient moisture is present.

HABITAT & HARDINESS:  The parent sedge is native to Ontario and the central United States from Minnesota to Ohio and south to Arkansas.  The greatest distribution is in states surrounding the Great Lakes.

This cultivar is hardy from USDA Zones 3-9.

PLANT DESCRIPTION:  Carex muskingumensis ‘Little Midge’ grows in handsome rounded clumps.  Plants slowly forms colonies from short creeping rhizomes.

In late spring multiple rigid upright culms rise above the lush basal foliage.  The culms are leafy with numerous glossy blades that are up to 1’ long.  The leaves are bright green when they emerge from dormancy.  After a few weeks a striking yellow border develops around each leaf margin.

The wide spreading leaves are densely arranged on each erect culm giving the appearance of a pinnately compound palm frond.  Foliage develops yellow fall color. 

Each fertile culm is topped by a narrow inflorescence containing several 1” light green to brown spikelets.  The spikelets contain both pistillate and staminate florets.

Plants are more compact than the straight species.  They are 8-10" tall with a spread up to 18".  'Little Midge'  prospers in dappled to full shade in moist fertile soil.  Plants tolerate sun if soil is consistently moist.  This sedge also thrives in clay soil or shallow standing water.

Plants may be loose in dense shade.  The appearance is improved if plants are cut to the ground in late winter.

This sedge is pest resistant and fairly unpalatable to deer and other herbivores.

LANDSCAPE USES:  Carex muskingumensis ‘Little Midge’ is a useful as an Accent or in Containers and Water Gardens and excellent lawn replacement. Plants provide Fall Color and are functional in Erosion Control.  This sedge is an appropriate component of a Groundcover, Mass Planting, Deer Resistant Planting, Rain Garden or Wildlife Garden. 


8-10 inches


10-18 inches


12-18 in

USDA Hardiness Zone:


Bloom Color:

Green, Tan

Carex muskingumensis 'Little Midge' Characteristics

Attracts Wildlife

  • Butterflies
  • Songbirds
  • Pollinators


  • Naturalizing
  • Ground Cover
  • Drought Tolerant


  • Full Sun to Partial Shade

Deer Resistant

  • Deer Resistant

Flowering Months

  • July

Foliage Color

  • Green

Grass Season

  • Cool Season Grass

Groundcover Foot-Traffic Tolerances

  • Light

Growth Rate

  • Fast

Lawn Replacement or Groundcover

  • Groundcover

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Winter
  • Fall
  • Summer
  • Spring

Soil Moisture Preference

  • Moist to Wet

Plants that work well with Carex muskingumensis 'Little Midge'

Swamp milkweed Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Turtlehead Turtlehead (Chelone glabra)
Sweet Joe pye weed Sweet Joe pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum)
Blue flag Blue flag (Iris versicolor)
Great Blue Lobelia Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)

Substitutions for Carex muskingumensis 'Little Midge'

Catlin sedge Catlin sedge (Carex texensis)