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Carex testacea, commonly known as Orange New Zealand Sedge or Orange Carex, is a popular ornamental grass-like plant native to New Zealand. It is valued for its vibrant orange to copper-colored foliage, which adds a unique and eye-catching element to the landscape. 



  • Size: Orange New Zealand Sedge is a small to medium-sized grass-like plant. It typically grows to a height of about 30-60 centimeters and forms dense clumps of arching foliage.
  • Leaves: The leaves of Carex testacea are long, narrow, and strap-like. They emerge green in the spring but gradually turn to shades of orange, copper, and bronze as the plant matures. The color intensifies in colder temperatures or during autumn.
  • Flowers: This sedge produces small, inconspicuous flowers on slender stems. The flowers are not the main ornamental feature of the plant.


Growing Conditions:


  • Climate: Carex testacea is well-adapted to temperate climates, including coastal regions. It is relatively hardy and can tolerate mild frosts.
  • Sunlight: Orange New Zealand Sedge thrives in full sun to partial shade. It prefers a location with bright, indirect light, but it can tolerate some shade.
  • Soil: The plant prefers well-draining soils that are fertile and rich in organic matter. It can grow in various soil types, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils.
  • Watering: Carex testacea has moderate water needs. It prefers regular watering to keep the soil evenly moist but can tolerate some drought once established.
  • Maintenance: This sedge is generally low-maintenance. It requires little to no pruning, although trimming can be done to control its size or remove any old or damaged foliage.


Carex testacea is a popular choice for gardens, landscapes, and container plantings due to its striking foliage color. It can be used as an accent plant, in mass plantings, or as a contrast against other green foliage. Orange New Zealand Sedge is also useful for erosion control on slopes and embankments due to its ability to form dense clumps. Its unique coloration and adaptability make it a favorite among gardeners and landscapers looking to add interest and texture to their outdoor spaces.

Carex testacea

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