The Q&A Archives: Ornamental Grasses

Question: Are there any ornamental grasses that don't get very tall-ones that are 10 inches or smaller?

Answer: There are a number of clumping, ornamental grasses that remain under one-foot tall. Here are a few descriptions: Arrhenatherum elatius (oat grass)develops into a clump about 1' high and wide. The narrow leaves are edged and striped in white. Briza maxima (rattlesnake grass) produces 6-inch long, 1/4-inch wide leaves and clusters of nodding, papery, straw-colored spikelets. The spikelets resemble rattlesnake rattles. Fescue glauca (blue fescue) is a 1' high, 10" wide densely clumping grass. The fine leaves are blue-gray to silvery-white and in summer the plant produces tiny white flowers. Imperata cylindrica (Japanese blood grass) forms upright clumps of medium green leaves with red tips. The red color extends along the leaf during the summer months, becoming brilliant red by fall.

All of these ornamental grasses grow best in full sunshine, in average soil.

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