Hardy Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses add texture and height to the landscape. Because they grow quickly, they are an effective landscape screen and can be used in place of a hedge. They also provide fall and  winter interest. Foliage should be left standing in the winter for visual interest and crown protection. Clumps can be cut down in late winter or early spring. Effingers has a large selection of hardy grasses that range from one foot to nine feet! Right now that are on sale for $9.98 (regular price $14.98). Here’s a run down on the varieties.

 

Carex Blue Zinger Carex ‘Blue Zinger’
Carex is very versatile and can tolerate a wide range of conditions including wet shade. Especially pretty when planted in mass. Attractive blue-green grass-like foliage that grows in clumps 10-20 inches tall.
Miscanthus strictus Miscanthus sinensis ‘Strictus’ (Porcupine Grass)
Green and yellow horizontally banded foliage. Spiky habit, grows strictly upright like porcupine spines. Pinkish-copper plumes. 4-6 ft.
Karl Foerster Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ (Feather reed grass)
Karl Foerster grass is an upright, slender columnar plant that does nor flop. Blooms begin early summer and last thru fall. Prefers a bit of afternoon shade in hot climates like st. Louis. Prefers consistently moist soil and will grow in heavy clay. 3-4 ft.
miscanthus variegatus Miscanthus sinensis ‘Variegatus’ (Variegated Maiden Grass)
Leaves are green and white variegated vertically. Grows in an arching rounded clump 5-6 ft. tall. When the tassel like plumes appear, the plant can reach 7-9 ft.
Blue fescue Fescue ‘Elijah Blue’
Clump forming, finely textured blue-green foliage that tolerates poor soil and drought. Cannot tolerate wet, poorly drained soil. 10- 14 inches. Clumps may decline in consistent hot, humid weather when it is best to trim the plant back.
Miscanthus Zebrinus Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’ (Zebra Grass)
Green leaves have golden horizontal bars. Habit is more relaxed, not as rigid as the ‘Strictus’ or porcupine grass. Pinkish copper plumes in September. 6-8 ft.
Miscanthus sinensis ‘Adagio’ (Maiden Grass)
Easy to grow, tolerates a wide variety of conditions and handles our hot humid summers well. Prefers good moisture and full sun. ‘Adagio’ is just 3-4 ft. Pinkish feathery plumes from late August thru October.
Pennisetum ‘Hameln’ (Fountain Grass)
Grows in graceful, spreading clumps 2-3 foot tall and wide. Showy bottle-brush like flowers appear in late summer and last thru the winter. Golden yellow fall foliage color that ages to tan.
Miscanthus gold bar Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gold Bar’ (Maiden Grass)
A clump forming grass with very distinctive horizontal gold banding. Has a dense, upright, rigid growth habit and does not flop. Tolerates a wide range of soil including heavy clay. 4-5 ft.
Pennisetum Little Bunny Pennisetum ‘Little Bunny’ (Fountain Grass)
Forms a petite, rounded mound of finely textured green foliage just 16-20 inches tall. Small bottle-brush like plumes in late summer. Great choice for containers, rock gardens and the front of the border.
Miscanthus gracillimus Miscanthus  sinensis ‘Gracillimus’ (Maiden Grass)
Rounded mounds of fine, silver-veined green leaves with an arching habit. Fan- like plumes emerge with a reddish tint in late summer, then age to a soft silvery white. 5-6 ft.
Cheyene Sky Panicum ‘Cheyene Sky’ (Switchgrass)
Forms a vase shaped clump of blue-green foliage that turns red in mid summer. Color intensifies as season progresses. A native grass so tough, easy, low maintenance. Tolerates poor soil and drought. 3 ft.
Miscanthus Morning Light Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’ (Maiden Grass)
Very narrow, finely textured leaves have a silvery green appearance. Upright arching clump is topped with bronze plumes that age to cream. 4-5 ft.
Panicum Apache Rose Panicum ‘Apache Rose’ (Switchgrass)
Another native cultivar, Apache Rose has unique rose-colored flowers instead of the typical cream or tan. Dense upright columnar habit. Tips of leaves turn rosy red in the fall. Tough and easy to grow. 4 ft.

 

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