Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses are grasses grown as ornamental plants. They have become increasingly popular in gardens in recent years. Ornamental grasses are popular in many colder hardiness zones for their resilience to cold temperatures and aesthetic value throughout fall and winter seasons.

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Calamagrostis Karl Foerster

Calamagrostis Karl Foerster
Thrives in rich, moist soils, but highly adaptable. Best foliage and plumes in full sun; benefits from part shade in hottest summer climates. Water deeply, regularly during first growing season to establish an extensive root system; tolerates dry spells when established. Cut to the ground in late winter just before new shoots appear.Pruning time: late winter.

Chasmanthemum latifolium

Chasmanthemum latifolium. Known as River Oats or Northern Sea Oats, this US native produces a multitude of beautiful pale green seed heads in midsummer that are reminiscent of the sea oats found at the beach. Panicles drop under their weight and look absolutely beautiful when backlit by the sun. Chasmanthium latifolium is a tall ground cover that grows in just about any situation: sun, shade, moist or dry. This ornamental native grass is a great landscape solution for areas of dry shade. When planting, keep in mind that River Oats will reseed, so place it in appropriate locations. When planted in sun, this plant may grow taller than four feet.

Festuca Elijah Blue

Festuca Elijah Blue Outstanding, icy blue coloration to this clumping ornamental grass holds up even through the heat of summer. Buff-colored flowers create eye-catching contrast. Perfectly suited for edging borders or mass planting as a groundcover. Drought tolerant when established. Evergreen.

Hakonachloa aureola

Hakonachloa aureola.
An intriguing grass for the shade which is perfect for the formal Japanese garden. Variegated but nearly all yellow, the leaf blades have narrow green stripes, mostly near the margins. Perhaps its most fascinating attribute is the cascading habit in which most of the leaves arch in the same direction, appearing much like a golden waterfall. Plant this grass where it will cascade down slopes, drape over rocks, crawl over the edges of walls, at the front of the garden, or even in containers.

Hakonachloa All Gold

Hakonachloa All Gold.
A graceful, colorful groundcover for shady areas. Slender stems that hold bright golden yellow foliage create a tiny bamboo-like effect. Excellent color and texture for mixed borders, containers and mass plantings. Naturalizes well; clumps spread gently by rhizomes. An herbaceous perennial.

Helichtotrichon Sapphire

Helichtotrichon Sapphire
Graceful fountains of bright steel-blue blades form neat ornamental clumps that combine well with other grasses. Reliable and attractive accent or specimen, perfect for rock gardens. Improved rust resistance. Evergreen perennial.

Liriope muscari Big Blue

Liriope muscari Big Blue.
Abundant blue flower spikes rise above the attractive, tufted arching, grass-like foliage followed by clusters of black berries. Superior edging, border or groundcover. Tolerates drier conditions when established. Evergreen.

Liriope muscari variegata

Liriope muscari variegata.
Vibrant yellow stripes brighten the dark green, arching, grass-like foliage that adds color to any planting. Lilac flowers appear on stems as tall as the leaves. An easy to grow, clump-forming groundcover or edging around perennial or shrub borders. Evergreen.

Miscanthus sinensis 'Adagio'

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Adagio’
Hundreds of showy plumes held above the foliage emerge bronze-pink, fading to white. A dwarf plant with graceful, silvery green arching foliage that becomes a whirl of orange, gold, and burgundy in fall. Spectacular in mass plantings or mixed into perennial borders.

Miscanthus sinensis Cabaret

Miscanthus sinensis Cabaret.
Abundant blue flower spikes rise above the attractive, tufted arching, grass-like foliage followed by clusters of black berries. Superior edging, border or groundcover. Tolerates drier conditions when established. Evergreen.

Miscanthus sinensis Gracillimus

Miscanthus sinensis Gracillimus.
Recommended Miscanthus for northern gardens. Noted for its early bloom time and copper red fall foliage. White flowers appear on tassel-like plumes above the foliage in late summer turning to silvery white showy plumes. Straw-beige winter foliage and white plumes persist to provide pleasing winter interest. Picture-perfect with sunshine highlighting the silky plumes.

Miscanthus sinensis Little Kitten

Miscanthus sinensis Little Kitten.
Hundreds of showy plumes held above the foliage emerge bronze-pink, fading to white. A dwarf plant with graceful, silvery green arching foliage that becomes a whirl of orange, gold, and burgundy in fall. Spectacular in mass plantings or mixed into perennial borders.

Miscanthus sisnensis Little Zebra

Miscanthus sisnensis Little Zebra.
A superb dwarf version with strong, horizontal gold banding on narrow blades. Reddish-purple plumes appear in August.

Miscanthus sinensis Morning Light

Miscanthus sinensis Morning Light.
One of the best and most sought-after Miscanthus varieties. ‘Morning Light’ is a compact grower and offers a fine-textured appearance similar to ‘Gracillimus.’ Its leaves are also narrow and its form neat and arching. Blooms are reddish-bronze, appearing as late as October. Noticeable white-edged variegation. Makes a wonderful container plant. Prefers well-draining soil..

Miscanthus sinensis variegatus

Miscanthus sinensis variegatus.
A vintage cultivar, ‘Variegatus’ has been used in garden landscapes since the beginning of the 20th century. White and green variegated foliage arches heavily, creating a very wide mound. Blooms mid-September. Prefers well-draining soil.

Miscanthus sinenesis zebrinus

Miscanthus sinenesis zebrinus.
This classic garden cultivar is characterized by its banded variegation of golden-yellow bars. Foliage habit is more arching than upright, distinguishing it from ‘Strictus.’ Blooms appear in September and emerge pinkish copper. Prefers well-draining soil.

Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal'

Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’.
Glaucous blue leaves and a strong upright form create a formal appearance thats softened only by its delicate seed heads. Tolerates a wide range of soil.

Panicum virgatum Shenandoah

Panicum virgatum Shenandoah.
Best burgundy-red coloring of all the switch grasses. Deep-green foliage takes on red hues by midsummer. The coloring becomes more pronounced until it turns deep burgundy-wine by September. Tolerates a wide range of soil.

Panicum virgatum Hot Rod

Panicum virgatum Hot Rod.
Firmly upright blades emerge blue/green, reddening rapidly until the whole plant is rich, deep maroon.

Panicum virgatum Northwind

Panicum virgatum Northwind.
A wonderful Panicum selection from Roy Diblik of Northwind Perennial Farm. A very strong, upright grower with wider steel-blue foliage.

Pennisetum alopecuroides. Fountain Grass

Pennisetum alopecuroides. Fountain Grass
Probably the most commonly used of the cold-hardy fountain grasses. Narrow green leaves form a soft, arching mound. Seed heads are green in summer, becoming golden brown in autumn, resembling large foxtails.

Pennisetum alopecuroides Hameln

Pennisetum alopecuroides Hameln.
One of the best fountain grasses for mass plantings. Seed heads appear in July and open greenish-white, turning a creamy tan with maturity. Prefers well-draining soil.

Pennisetum a. Red Head

Pennisetum a. Red Head.
Smoky purple flowers up to 10″ long and 3″ thick! Graceful green foliage turns gold in fall. An Intrinsic Perennials selection.

Pennisetum a. Piglet

Pennisetum a. Piglet
PPAF. ‘Piglet’ was discovered and introduced by Intrinsic Perennial Gardens. Perhaps the most perfectly sized compact fountain grass. Its height falls right in between ‘Little Bunny’ and ‘Hameln’. Great as an edger or in a container. Tawny colored, cascading plumes in late summer.

Pennisetum a. Little Bunny

Pennisetum a. Little Bunny.
Foxtail flowers are only about 2 inches long, and the foliage forms a neat little mound. Excellent for mass plantings when garden scale is on the smaller size. Also useful in rock gardens and pond-side plantings. Prefers well-draining soil.

Pennisetum orientale Karley Rose

Pennisetum orientale Karley Rose.
Named after Karley Rose, daughter of David Skwiot of Sunny Border Nursery. Its foliage is deep green and arching. Same striking blooms as the species, but rose pink in color. Prefers well-draining soil.