Ornamental Grasses

With the popularity of ornamental grasses and their use in the landscape, it is a good idea to understand how these plants grow. This understanding will lead to better use of these plants and often avoid disappointment or frustration.

Grasses respond and start to grow based upon temperature. Some grasses will start to grow in early spring when temperatures are still cool and others will wait until the soil is warm and temperatures are more stable.

Before planting you should also understand the growth habit of the grass. Grasses can be either clump forming or rhizome forming. The latter is often called "running" grass. The clump forming grasses will grow in very nice, neat mounds or clumps. They tend to mix very well with other perennials and will not become invasive. They will increase in girth slowly over time. The rhizome forming grasses spread by underground stems and can become very aggressive and invasive. These grasses have their place but it may not be in a well-tended perennial border since they can soon take over an entire area.

We present our selection of ornamental grasses in tables rather than individual pages.  Here is our list -- click on the desired plant name below to go to that table of information.

Common Name Botanical Name
Blood grass Imperata
Blue Fescue Festuca
Blue Oat Grass Helictrichon
Corkscrew Rush Juncus
Feather Reed Grass Calamagrostis
Fiber Optic Isolepis
Fountain Grass Pennisetum
Japanese Forest Grass Hakonechloa
Maiden Grass Gracillemus
Pampas Grass Cortaderia
Pink Muhly Muhlenbergia
Ribbon Grass Phalaris
River Oats Chasmanthium
Sedge Grass Carex
Sweet Flag Acorus
Switchgrass Panicum

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