Grasses are a great addition to your landscape!
Grasses are a great way to add multi-season interest to your landscape.
Andropogon gerardii - Big Bluestem
Height: 4-8' Width: 2-3'
Drought tolerant and easy to maintain. Blue-green foliage turns maroonish-tan in fall with curios turkey foot seed heads. Dry to moist soil, tolerant of low fertility but needs full sun.
Big Bluestem is naturally found in tall grass prairie. Plant in the back of the garden or as an "accent". Big Bluestem can get aggressive if there is not enough other plant competition around. Enjoys moist well-darined soil. Common issues in the garden stem from gardeners giving it too much shade, water and fertilizer. Larval host for several butterfly species and nesting cover for many songbirds.
Andropogon gerardii x hallii 'Champ' - Champ big bluestem
Andropogon hallii 'Goldstrike' - Goldstrike sand bluestem
Bouteloua curtipendula - Sideoats Grama
Height: 2-3' Width: 1-2'
Drought tolerant and thrives in many soil types. Long stalks with dangling purple/red flowers emerge above a mound of green foliage. Perfect for meadow gardens and erosion prevention. Fall color is tan. Slow to come up in the spring so consider planting with spring wildflowers. Refers full sun and well-drained soils on the dry side. Larval host to several butterfly species. Native to mixed-grass prairies.
Bouteloua gracilis - Blue Grama
Height: .5-1' Width: .5-1'
Low-growing grass can act as a groundcover and great lawn alternative and can be mowed occasionally. Caterpillar or eye-lash like seed heads hover above the foliage. This is a warm-season grass slow to start in the spring. Perfect for planting with other low-growing, dry-loving perennials such as primrose, prairie smoke, penstemon and dwarf spiderwort.
Thrives in dry, sunny locations! This grass does not like shade and will die out if over-watered. Perfers soil with low organic content. Larval host plant.
Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition'-Blonde Ambition Blue Grama
Height: 1-3' Weight: .5-1'
Taller than the straight species with an abundance of seed heads. Selected for pest resistance and performance in drought conditions.
Calamagrostis brachytricha-Korean Feather Reed Grass
Height: 3-4' Weight: 1-2'
Stunning plumes of pink, feathery blooms. Fountain like mounds look amazing when grouped in masses. Grows well in shade and tolerates hot summers. Drought tolerant once established. This grass will seed around. This grass is not native to the US, but does serve a purpose in urban landscapes where shade is abundant.
Deschampsia cespitosa-Tufted Hair Grass
Height: 1-2' Weight: 1-2'
Grows in a tufted mound with airy seed heads extending above the foliage. Blooms profusely in full sun but will grow in part shade. Can be used as a ground cover in moist areas.
Eragrostis trichodes-Sand Lovegrass
Height: 2-4' Weight: 2-4'
Dense tufts of airy seed heads create stunning visual appeal in late summer. Flowers are purple tinged in July. Bronze fall color continues into winter.
An aromatic but aggressive grass. Requires competition but works well for hard to establish areas and large projects! Sweetgrass has a very sweet scent. First Nation people in Europe and North America used the grass in a variety of traditions.
Rain garden plant
Miscanthus sinensis 'Little Kitten' - Little Kitten Maiden Grass
A perfect, minature maiden grass for small garden spaces. Fits easily into corners and borders. A compact 2' mound of fine textured leaves. Fan shaped plumes appear in August rising above the foliage.
Miscanthus sinensis var. purpurascens 'Autumn-Red' - Autumn Red Flame Grass
Height: 4-6' Width: 3-4
Small and compact, reaching about 5 feet with flowers. Brilliant orange-red fall color in sunny locations.
Molinia caerulea - Purple Moor Grass
Height: 3-6' Width: 2-3'
A majestic landscape surprise starting as green mound in spring. In summer thin stalks rise 6' high with airy purple seed heads. Foliage turns golden in fall and lasts into winter. Tolerant of poor or rich soils.
Rain Garden Plant
Muhlenbergia cuspidata -Prairie Satin Grass
Height: 12" Width: 12-18"
Slender, soft billowy texture on this tough as nails native grass. It combines perfectly with little bluestem and other short, heat loving, drought tolerant grasses.
Panicum virgatum 'Cape Breeze' -Cape Breeze Switchgrass
Height: 2-2.5' Width: 1-2'
The perfect compact switchgrass! Short and upright, salt tolerant and blooms earlier than other cultivars.
Panicum virgatum 'Cloud Nine' - Cloud Nine Switchgrass
One of the tallest of the switchgrasses. During the growing season, it has stunning blue gray foliage, which turns a deep gold color in the fall. Airy, billowy seed heads appear in mid summer and remain attractive all winter long!!
Panicum virgatum 'Dallas Blues'-Dallas Blues Switchgrass
Height: 5-6' Weight: 2-3'
Stunning cultivar with wide, blue foliage and airy pink seed heads. Drought tolerant and not picky about soil type.
Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah' -Shenandoah Switchgrass
Height: 3-4' Width: 1-2'
Spectacular red switchrgrass give dazzling red show in fall. Selected for its smaller stature than the straight species and good fall color. Great grass for average garden soils with good drainage. Can withstand drought and low-areas as long as drainage is provided.
Schizachyrium scoparium-little bluestem
Height: 2-4' Weight: 1.5-2'
Was a dominant part of the tall grass and short grass prairies. Upright clumps of slender leaves with a bluish tinge at the base, Purplish-bronze flowers and silver seed heads followed by bronze-orange fall color. This is a MUST have for most gardeners. Foliage is used by larvae of butterflies. Little Bluestem needs dry, well-drained soil and full-sun to thrive. Flopping occurs if the plant is overwatered.
Schizachyrium scoparium 'Blaze'-Blaze Little Bluestem
Height: 2-3' Weight: 1-2'
Upright shape with blue green foliage in summer. Fiery reds, purples and oranges in fall. Chosen as a high yield pasture grass but used in the landscape for its outstanding fall beauty. Drought and infertility tolerant.
Schizachyrium scoparium 'The Blues' -The Blues little bluestem
Height: 3' Width: 1.5-2'
Stunning blue foliage from this selection that originates from the Flint Hills of Kansas. As fall progresses, an exciting mix of colors appear: purple, orange, and many more shades of blue.
Sorghastrum nutans - Indian Grass
Height: 3-7' Width: 2-3'
Steel blue foliage with 5' flower spikes. Beautiful bronze fall color. A great choice for sustainable landscapes, natural areas and modern designs requiring structure. Drought tolerant. Can withstand occasional flooding and low-land areas. Prefers sun, but will tolerate part-shade too. Larval host. deer resistant.
Sporobolus heterolepis-Prairie Dropseed
Height: 2-3' Weight: 2-3'
One of the most beautiful short native prairie grasses. A major component of the Midwestern prairie. Grows in a perfect, bright green fountain-like mound that turns coppery orange in the fall. Seed-heads are held up away from foliage with a light ethereal quality. Seed-heads smell like fresh-cut hay. Needs well-drained soil. Is great for borders and mass plantings. Combines well with native and non-native plants. If you have a more traditional garden and are trying native grasses for the first time this is a great choice.