Uncinia uncinata “Rubra” and Cotula hispida

This is a match made in heaven, a design masterstroke, this lovely red grass Uncinia unciniata “Rubra” nestling amongst the Silver Cotula, Cotula hispida. Of course it was pure fluke.  Uncinia or Hook Sedge self seeds prolifically and has done just that here.  In fact the blood red of the leaves dull significantly as it becomes older and it is a far more attractive plant as a youngster.  Life is cruel.  It is far better to track its progress around the garden removing both the boring old codgers and the youngsters who have strayed either too far or into forbidden territory but letting the happy accidents remain.  Again a little bit of controlled anarchy.

This uncinia is not a true grass but a sedge and its common name of Hook Sedge refers to the blackish hooked seed capsules it produces after flowering.  This is an ideal method of dispersal as it attaches itself to passing animals, or perhaps gardeners, to assist in its wanderings.  It also has the Maori name of Watua which of course means it is another New Zealand native.  The cotula, which itself is not adverse to a perambulation around the garden, has tiny yellow button flowers which are held like satellites on thin stalks above the foliage. It originates in the Drakensburg mountains of South Africa which means in the natural world this partnership would never happen.  Well I suppose it might but it would probably involve a very adventurous kiwi.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Uncinia uncinata “Rubra” and Cotula hispida

  1. Debra Christian

    I’m looking for a small sedge, either red or yellow that both rabbits and deer do not eat. Would Uncinia uncinata “Red” be a good choice?

    • Well I can’t comment on rabbits but so far the deer haven’t touched this plant and they seem to have tried most things in the garden. I would give it a go, beware that it does seed itself around but as the young plants are more “red” than the more mature specimens it means you have a continual supply of good specimens. Good luck!

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