Ornamental grasses add a visual interest to the landscape. They help prevent soil erosion, provide a habitat for wildlife, are easy to maintain, handle heat well and once established, don't require a lot of water. There are a variety of sizes, colors, textures and leaf shape. Small compact grasses work well as borders or can be used in containers. Large varieties add height to any area as a specimen plant or grown with perennials such as Echinacea, Rudbeckia , Liatris and Perovskia. Five of my favorite grasses are:
Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'
- Narrow, upright, clumping habit
- Pink Feathery flower turning wheat colored
- 5-6' by 2-3'
Festuca ovina 'Elijah Blue'
- Small, dense mounds of silver-blue flat or rolled blades
- Flowers slightly above with a tan-beige coloring
- 1' by 1'
Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus'
- Dense, upright clumps of arching green blades
- Red to brown in the fall, seedheads are copper colored
- 6-7' by 5'
Sorghastrum nutans 'Indian Steel'
- Upright native grass with blue-green foliage
- Foliage changes to light brown with yellow stems in the fall
- 3-4' by 1-2'
- Mounding native grass with arching green blades
- Seedheads smell like buttered popcorn
- 1-2' x 1-2'