ornamental grass - Knowledgebase Question

uncasville, Co
Question by mumalmewasa
June 29, 2010
can you give me a list of ornamental grasses which i can grow in my area.and list of native wild flower garden plants .thank you


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Answer from NGA
June 29, 2010

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There are many native grasses with ornamental features (colorful plumes and seedheads, fine-textured leaves, and fall and winter color). Here are some native non-invasives that I like:

Feather reed grass 'Karl Foerster' (Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'). This upright grass is tolerant of a wide range of conditions and rarely self-sows.
?Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) is a highly ornamental grass that deserves to be used more. Little bluestem is a dominant grass of mixed-grass prairie. Little bluestem thrives in poor or rocky soil, where it grows into a neat column. In rich soil, however, it grows tall and floppy. In fall, the grass turns reddish-gold, with fluffy white seed clusters. Its gold color and columnar form persist all winter. It's still looking good after winter wind has damaged most other grasses. 3' tall.

Muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris). This grass has beautiful seed heads that look like fluffy pink clouds. I would grow it more however it blooms in September and that leaves a short season to enjoy it.

Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) is a robust grass that is well adapted to moderate shade. About 30-36" tall, it produces open flower clusters in late summer followed by flat persistent seed heads that become showy in autumn.

Palm sedge (Carex muskingumensis). This visually interesting low grass (20") has numerous upright stems with whirls of leaves. The color is a light-medium green and it grows quite well in light shade and can be used as a ground cover.

Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pennsylvanica). This sedge would be good to use for a path or lawn replacement. It's short clusters spread slowly, forming a thick, lush carpet.

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). Switchgrass is another denizen of tall-grass prairie. Switchgrass forms tall, stately clumps. In early fall, it has airy purplish flower-heads. The seeds provide food for birds. The grass is yellow in fall, and tan in the winter. 3-5' tallis a tall and tufted native that's highly touted as a potential biofuel crop.

I've found a website listing the best native wildflowers for your region. It has photos and other details to help you choose just the right plants. Hope you find it helpful: http://www.ct-botanical-societ...

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