The Q&A Archives: Grass Variety

Question: I've seen a type of grass that grows in small clumps and does not require mowing. Some of the national parks are using it. I has something similar years ago and was told it was "hawaiian tuft grass". It seems hardy and tolerates shade. It hasfine leaves but doesn't get very deep. The color is a blue-green or gray-green. The clumpy, hair-like texture is attractive. I saw some very much like it at Sagamore Hill in NY. I can't locate this type of grass for our new landscape. I'd love to find it. Do you have any idea what it might be?

Answer: There are lots of different types of ornamental grasses. It would be helpful in identifying the one you are talking about if I knew about how tall it was. Was it planted in place of a lawn? <br><br>Black sedge (Carex nigra) is hardy to zone 4, grows to aheight of 6", and forms dark, blue-green tufts. It is also shade tolerant. There are several other different sedges that also fit your description.<br><br>Lilyturf (Liriope spp.) resembles small, ornamental grasses but is actually a member of the lily family. Liriope spicata grows to a height of 8 to 12 inches, has fine-textured leaves, and tolerates partial shade.<br><br>Mondo grass (Ophiopogon spp.) grows to a height of 6 to 12 inches, and is reliable especially in warmer zones. <br><br>Fescue 'Silver Lining' is a 6" grass with blue-green foliage; it does well in dry soils but requires full sun.<br><br>Burpee sells the fescue; if you need sources for the others, please submit another question via the web site and we'll try to track them down for you. You might also call the national parks where you saw the plants--their grounds departments may be able to tell you just what it is!

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