Uncinia Rubra is a real gem among grasses, forming a neat arching clump of gorgeous deep red leaves shading to olive brown, which are such an attractive feature in themselves that the hooked flowering spikes come as a bonus. One of the best, and evergreen! Sun or semi-shade. Any reasonable soil. 12-18 in. Available in ! litre and 2 litre pots.
Uncinia Rubra is a native of New Zealand, though members of the genus are found throughout the temperate zones of the southern hemisphere. They are found in damp grassland and woodland, which tells you that similarly moist conditions will suit them best in a garden context. Uncinia will do well either in a sunny position or somewhere with a bit of shade: we grow them in the latter and display them in the former, and the plants seem equally happy.
Uncinia’s common name of hook sedge is immediately understandable when you take a look at the flowering heads and see those little hooked seeds ready to attach themselves to any passing animal (or your socks or trousers, for that matter). As the Latin for hook is uncinus, you can see where the genus name came from too. And, of course, rubra is the red bit.
Grasses are for the most part easy to care for and Uncinia Rubra is no exception. Post winter there can be a few dead or scruffy blades and combing them out with your fingers works pretty well. Another thing we do is give the clump a bit of a light trim to remove any tips browned off by cold weather.
Uncinia Rubra is a hardy evergreen grass with deep red to olive brown leaves and hooked flowering spikes in summer suitable for sun or semi-shade.
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