digging dog nursery mendocino coast   ornamental grasses from digging dog nursery

Grasses at Digging Dog
Acorus to Deschampsia

Including Calamagrostis & Carex

ornamental grasses intro drawing

One of the most exciting trends in contemporary American landscaping is the recent availability of a wide variety of ornamental grasses. Grasses offer more than longevity and low maintenance; they bring movement, fall and winter pizzazz, lush volume, texture and line, even sound, to any situation. The design possibilities are mind-boggling!

Plant grasses for a stunning effect in groups by themselves, with wildßowers for a stylized meadow, as a transition area between surrounding Þelds or woods and the garden proper, or be even bolder and bring some into the perennial bed for vertical excitement. Think of them as shrub substitutes for hedges and semitransparent screens, as specimens to contrast with rocks and boulders, and by all means, place a few at water's edge. Show grasses to best effect by backlighting, so that every tiny seed and hairlike Þlament seems illuminated from within. Ornamental grasses are simply unbeatable fresh or dried in arrangements, with ßowers or by themselves.

To prevent rotting during the rainy season, plant ornamental grasses high enough to ensure drainage away from the base of the plant. Wait until late winter or until they no longer look great, then shear ruthlessly to 4 or 6 inches. Divisions are necessary at least every three years. Once established, many grasses will reward you by being drought and heat resistant.

Please note some of the given bloom times have been extended beyond the actual flowering period to include the interesting dried effect of the inflorescences in winter.

View a slideshow of plant images from this page

Acorus


Acorus gramineus ‘Variegatus’ full sun  partial shade
White-striped Japanese Sweet Flag

Named for the pleasant, pinelike fragrance that emanates from the entire plant, Acorus is neither a grass nor a sedge. This variegated grassy perennial is an unusual member of the Arum family, once used as an aromatic addition to perfumes, gin and beer.

An illustrious, water-loving accent for damp shady borders, shallow water or at pond’s edge, its waxy evergreen fans of upright, green flattened blades emerge from slowly creeping rhizomes while boasting neat alabaster striped margins.

Size: 8"–12" high x 18"–2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.


Acorus gramineus ‘Variegatus’ (G-0460)
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Ampelodesmos

Mauritania Vine Reed


Ampelodesmos mauritanicus full sun
Mauritania Vine Reed/Rope Grass
<i>Ampelodesmos mauritanicus</i>

A Mediterranean denizen, this stately grass yields fine textured evergreen blades tough enough to fashion ties, ropes and baskets, and large enough to make an imposing focal point in your mixed border. Lofty upward arching stems race skyward, asserting mostly one-sided pearl-colored panicles above a dark green clump-forming mound, while airy purple-flushed inflorescences invite birds and gardeners alike. Robust Rope Grass maintains its majestic composure throughout the winter and requires a sheltered, sunny position with well-drained soil.

Blooms July–November.

Size: 9' 0" high x 3' 0"–4' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.


Ampelodesmos mauritanicus (G-0479)
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Andropogon


Andropogon gerardii full sun
Big Bluestem
<i>Andropogon gerardii</i>

Historically renowned as the sod our ancestors broke their backs busting, Big Bluestem is the most widespread of all the prairie grasses. Its regal and wild color show makes it a must in our garden. Growing to great size, the stand’s lush, blue-blushed summer greenery becomes a burgundy and copper glory at first frost. Soaring three-pronged red seed heads beg its other common name, Turkeyfoot.

Reliable, heat tolerant and sturdy, Andropogon gerardii thrives in poorly drained clay to dry sandy soils, and easily transitions the outskirts of your garden into the wild meadow beyond.

Blooms late August–October.

Size: 5' 0"–8' 0" high x 3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.


Andropogon gerardii (G-0448)
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Andropogon gerardii ‘Red October’ full sun
Turkey Foot

This recent Intrinsic Perennial Garden introduction is quickly earning kudos for its spectacular shades of red and long-lived amenable character. August brings rich cardinal red accents to lush dark green blades that define a substantial straight-up clump, while unique threebranched inflorescences with bright red pollen sacs sway above. Strutting fiery scarlet-red and burgundy colors by the first frost, aptly named 'Red October' provides welcome cover for nesting birds and makes a galvanizing addition to a mixed planting, meadow garden or naturalized space. (PPAF)

Blooms July – October.

Size: 5' 0"–6' 0" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 3.


Andropogon gerardii ‘Red October’ (G-0539)
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Bouteloua

       
Bouteloua curtipendula full sun
Sideoats Grama
<i>Bouteloua curtipendula</i>

For its distinctive inflorescences, colorful fall foliage and phenomenal drought tolerance, this Midwestern denizen reigns supreme. Purplish oatlike spikelets, uniformly draped along one side of the upright or arching stalks, eventually blanch to a straw hue. Enduring a wide range of soils and difficult sites, Side Oats Grama forms erect, wiry light green clumps that broadcast violet, orange and red autumnal shades.

Planted in drifts, meandering amid other medium statured grasses and smaller perennials, a dramatic statement is yours to enjoy, while the birds and butterflies feast on the fodder.

Blooms June – November.

Size: 2' 0"–3' 0" high x 12" wide; hardy to zone 3.


Bouteloua curtipendula (G-0513)
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Bouteloua gracilis full sun
Mosquito Grass

We wish more plants were like this one! This North American native is tough, drought tolerant, and adds delicacy and movement wherever it’s placed. Slightly iridescent, Mosquito Grass offers tiny seed heads borne atop thin, wiry stems. Resembling aerial minnows, the inflorescences dart above 1 ft. clumps of dense, narrow blades. Plant them next to a garden seat or steps where they can be enjoyed at close range.

Blooms June–October.

Size: 18" high x 12" wide; hardy to zone 4.


Bouteloua gracilis (G-0002)
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AVAILABLE SUMMER 2017

Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition’ full sun <i>Bouteloua gracilis</i> ‘Blonde Ambition’
Blue Gamma Grass

Taller and more energetic than the species, 'Blonde Ambition's dense finely hewn tufts provide a blue-green foil for cut-flower-perfect inflorescences, which grow at 90° angles and summon our attention well into winter. The large chartreuse seed heads broadcast eye-catching platinum blonde shades once they mature, waving like splendid flags atop stiff 2 ½ ft. slender stalks. Discovered by David Salmon of High Country Gardens as a chance sport in a Santa Fe, New Mexico garden, this tough heady grass struts golden brown, orange and red foliar autumn colors and shimmers when interwoven with Sesleria and flanked by Hydrangea paniculata 'Mega Mindy'. (pp#22,048)

Blooms June–November.

Size: 2-1/2'–3' 0" high x 2-1/2'–3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.


Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition’ (G-0538)
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AVAILABLE JULY 2017


Bouteloua gracilis ‘Hachita’ full sun  drought tolerant

Originally selected by the USDA for its mighty drought abiding persona, this small statured narrow bladed grass was collected in 1957 on the semi-arid plains south of Hachita, New Mexico. The alluring presentation of delicate reddish purple inflorescences morphs into glittery eyelash- shaped seed heads above a trim close-knit grayish green clump and belies ‘Hachita’s tough-guy reputation. Appealing to both birds and floral arrangers, Blue Gamma Grass resents poorly drained wet locales, tackles Black Walnut roots, shallow rocky soil, air pollution plus erosion, and can be nestled into the rockery, a more wild venue or employed as a mowable lawn substitute.

Blooms June–October

Size: 12"–20" high x 8"–12" wide; hardy to zone 3.


Bouteloua gracilis ‘Hachita’ (G-0553)
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Briza


Briza media full sun  partial shade <i>Briza media</i>
Rattlesnake Grass

People delight in this Mediterranean native, and its playfully noisy nature has earned it amusing names like cowquakes, didder and dillies; it earns “Rattlesnake” for the rattlelike, heart-shaped inflorescences. On delicate, swaying stems, the small flowers emerge a shimmery green highlighted with red, and dry to a light straw color.

Medium green, finely textured blades form dense, long-lived evergreen clumps, and forgivingly put up with winds, drought and salt spray.

Blooms April–June.

Size: 2' 0" high x 12" wide; hardy to zone 4.


Briza media (G-0087)
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Calamagrostis

Extremely tough, undemanding and hardy, this truly all-purpose grass brings bold, erect lines to the garden spectrum.


Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Avalanche’ full sun
<i>Calamagrostis</i> x <i>acutiflora</i> ‘Avalanche’

This distinctive newcomer is a variegated form of Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ first spotted by Steve Schmidt at American Ornamental Perennials. Showcasing dramatically striped foliage, the medium-sized clumps spring to life as a hefty white central band bordered by narrow green margins embellishes each blade. Topped with an airy aura of rose-tinged green plumes that later take on warm, golden hues, ‘Avalanche’s straight-up stance forges a compelling specimen, or when planted en masse, a boldly patterned screen. (PPAF)

Blooms May–January.

Size: 5' 0" high x 3' 0" wide. Zone 4/5.


Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Avalanche’ (G-0469)
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Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ full sun <i>Calamagrostis</i> x <i>acutiflora</i> ‘Karl Foerster’
Karl Foerster’s Feather Reed Grass
<i>Calamagrostis</i> x <i>acutiflora</i> ‘Karl Foerster’

Named for pioneering German nurseryman Karl Foerster, this selection bears loose and airy 12 in. seed heads, which tighten to slender plumes by midsummer. Rising above 2 ft. clumps of narrow green foliage, the inflorescences create an ideal semitransparent veiling effect. Plant with deep green Viburnums to accentuate its golden flowering stems.

Blooms May–January.

Size: 5' 0" high x 3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.


Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ (G-0003)
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Calamagrostis brachytricha full sun
Korean Feather Reed Grass

Warmed by rosy maroon plumes, Calamagrostis brachytricha is native to the moist woodlands of eastern Asia. The inflorescences stay open and feathery, even when they dry, and eventually pale to an elegant silvery gray. Magical both in an arrangement or outside when the wind blows, the panicles leap from a clump of glossy green, upright and arching blades. This warm season grass exhibits a smaller stature, making it well suited for a container.

Blooms September.

Size: 4' 0" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.


Calamagrostis brachytricha (G-0067)
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Calamagrostis foliosa full sun  partial shade  new plant <i>Calamagrostis foliosa</i>
Cape Mendocino Reed Grass
<i>Calamagrostis foliosa</i>

Garnished by violet tinges, low loose mounds of glaucous blue-gray blades generally remain throughout the year and set this cool season California native apart from other North American Calamagrostis species. Slender tapering pinkish purple panicles sojourn just above the relaxed foliage in a lovely fountain-like fashion and by early summer adopt luminous flaxen hues.

Cape Mendocino Reed Grass pouts when it’s hot, appreciates summer irrigation and looks artful either as a large-scale ground cover or peppered throughout mixed borders and naturalized meadows.

Blooms May–November.

Size: 18" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.


Calamagrostis foliosa (G-0044)
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Carex

Sedge

A diverse genus comprised of nearly 1000 species, most Carex originate in the moist habitats of temperate climates. Our graceful selections are easy to grow and promise to soften those hard edges in your garden.


Carex albula ‘Frosted Curls’ full sun  partial shade
Frosted Curls Sedge
<i>Carex albula</i> ‘Frosted Curls’

Applauded as one of the most distinctive native New Zealand grasses, this Carex spotlights a frosted fountain of gracefully cascading hairlike blades. The iridescent light green leaves twist their tips and gleam with pewter highlights, while staging a dense evergreen clump that spills over rocks, walls or a favored patio container.

For an especially fluid display, ‘Frosted Curls’ is best planted en masse on a slope where its trailing foliage appears to flow like water.

Size: 12" high x 12" wide; hardy to zone 7.


Carex albula ‘Frosted Curls’ (G-0482)
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Carex conica ‘Snowline’ partial shade  shade lover
Miniature Variegated Sedge
<i>Carex conica</i> ‘Snowline’

Glistening, dark green slender leaves embellished with crisp white margins and small purplish white flowers on triangular stems hallmark this neatly tufted variegated Sedge. Fully evergreen in milder climates, the sturdy fine textured mound spreads slowly, casting a long lasting sprightly charm upon the rockery, woodland beds or patio pots. ‘Snowline’ relishes light shade and loose moist soil, withstands tree roots, wards off deer and, if planted closely, makes a picturesque easy to maintain ground cover.

Blooms May.

Size: 9"–15" high x 10"–18" wide; hardy to zone 5.


Carex conica ‘Snowline’ (G-0533)
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Carex divulsa full sun  partial shade
Berkeley Sedge

We favor Berkeley Sedge for its lush meadow look. Ranging from Washington to California’s Monterey coast, this western native’s deep green and lustrous, thin evergreen blades elegantly arch out from a clumping base and yield inconspicuous brownish blooms held by lax, wiry stems.

Once established, the fast growing and versatile Carex divulsa can endure an array of factors: some drought, boggy areas, tree roots, sun or shade, and foot traffic, including the four-legged kind. However, regular watering and a trim every 6 months will ensure the most verdant growth. You can space it closely and mow for a turflike effect, plant en masse as a ground cover in a small or large area or create a shady vignette with Euphorbia characias x robbiae and Geranium sinense.

Blooms May–June.

Size: 18"–2' 0" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 7.


Carex divulsa (G-0449)
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Carex dolichostachya ‘Kaga Nishiki’ full sun  partial shade  new plant
Kaga Brocade Sedge

Nishiki means “brocade,” and it rightly describes the variegated blades of this superb selection, which comes to our country from Japan’s Gotemba Nursery. Forming a tidy, fountain-like mound, each slender leaf has a green central stripe emargined in radiant yellow. Long-lived and durable, ‘Kaga Nishiki’ imparts bright accents to verdant broad-leafed perennials in the border.

Size: 8"–10" high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 6.


Carex dolichostachya ‘Kaga Nishiki’ (G-0098)
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Carex elata ‘Aurea’ partial shade  shade lover
Bowles Golden Sedge

This beautiful sedge offers the clearest yellow of any grass, plus a courtly, rounded form. Its compact size is ideal for the rock garden or mixed border. Best of all, the coloring becomes even more brilliant in partial shade.

Use it to enliven the woodland garden, or make a stunning statement by planting it with other golden foliage or with the contrasting leaves of Pulmonaria ‘Roy Davidson’. Bowles Golden will become a dense stand in only a few seasons.

Size: 15" high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 5.


Carex elata ‘Aurea’ (G-0006)
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Carex elata ‘Knightshayes’ partial shade  shade lover

Solidly colored in clear golden yellows, this Carex's graceful hummock will energize the hohum corners of your garden. With upright and arching, evergreen foliage, 'Knightshayes' requires moisture and bright shade to retain the gilt hues. Try establishing singly or en masse near ponds, streams, in a damp border or even in water, where its glowing accents and reflections are sure to beckon.

Size: 15" high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 5.


Carex elata ‘Knightshayes’ (G-0096)
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Carex flacca (glauca) full sun  partial shade
Carnation Grass

With its sea of striking blue, Carnation-like foliage, this handsome Carex is aptly named. Glaucous, narrow blades create a noninvasive, slowly spreading mass. Purple-black spikes appear to float like a subtle mist just above the solid, jointless flowering stems. Easy to establish and indispensable as a low ground cover, Carex flacca tolerates drought, adapts to an array of growing conditions and effectively interweaves a tapestry of Heathers.

Blooms May–June.

Size: 6"–15" high x 12"–15" wide; hardy to zone 4.


Carex flacca (glauca) (G-0099)
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Carex flacca ‘Burton’s Blue’ full sun  partial shade

Reminiscent of Dianthus leaves and noticeably broader than the species, the eye-catching ¾ in. wide ultra-blue blades grow in an upward arching fashion. ‘Burton’s Blue’ produces small purple-black flowers atop its galvanizing more coarsely textured foundation that makes an ideal well-mannered evergreen addition for your rock garden or border. Staged in sweeps, as a walkway edging or tucked between boulders, this adaptable slow spreading selection abides full sun, part shade, drought, alkaline soil and even some salinity.

Blooms May–mid July

Size: 12"–20" high x 10"–15" wide; hardy to zone 4.


Carex flacca ‘Burton’s Blue’ (G-0554)
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Carex flagellifera (Bronze) full sun  partial shade
Weeping Brown Sedge

Infused with rich earth tones evoking a Zen-like simplicity, the weeping ultra-fine clump of long and thin, dark chocolate-colored blades sets this mop-top New Zealander apart. Carex flagellifera’s easily melded tones and fluid upright arching form brings textural intrigue to containers, the rockery, walls or borders, whether installed as a stand-alone or a sweep. Arresting when juxtaposed against broad greenery, blue-gray foliage or any brightly hued bloom, Weeping Brown Sedge obliges sun, shade, moisture and somewhat dry conditions, and remains evergreen where winters are mild.

Size: 15"–18" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 6.


Carex flagellifera (Bronze) (G-0532)
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Carex morrowii ‘Ice Dance’ partial shade  shade lover
<i>Carex morrowii</i> ‘Ice Dance’

Introduced by Barry Yinger, long-lived ‘Ice Dance’ comes to us from the woodlands flanking Japan’s low-lying mountains. Dark emerald in color, the reflexed, leathery leaves are shiny and heightened by creamy white margins.

This tidy evergreen ground cover is not invasive; its spreading rhizomes form a coarsely textured carpet that is somewhat drought tolerant once established.

Size: 12" high x 12" wide; hardy to zone 5.


Carex morrowii ‘Ice Dance’ (G-0088)
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Carex morrowii var. temnolepis ‘Silk Tassel’ partial shade  shade lover

Whatever visions the cultivar name may conjure, the thread-like glimmering foliage is sure to champion. Collected by Barry Yinger during a 1970 Japanese excursion, this carefree variegated grass generates a soft looking fountain-shaped mop of longitudinally striped extra narrow green and white foliage that shrugs off deer and readily subdues angular features. ‘Silk Tassel’s gracefully cascading clump looks fantastic massed in a woodland planting, cozied alongside rocks or positioned pond side.

Size: 12" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.


Carex morrowii var. temnolepis ‘Silk Tassel’ (G-0555)
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Carex muskingumensis ‘Little Midge’ full sun  partial shade
Dwarf Palm Sedge

Truly pint-sized in all aspects, this easily cultivated fine textured sedge was introduced by Limerock Nursery of Pennsylvania. Thin, tapered bright green blades resemble miniature palms as they radiate out from lax stem tips.

Best relished up close, the slow spreading ‘Little Midge’ is a superb option for small water features or containers, bog gardens and the rockery; or plant multiples for a verdant ground cover. It endures sun or partial shade with ample moisture, but is tolerant of drier conditions.

Size: 8"–12" high x 8"–12" wide; hardy to zone 4.


Carex muskingumensis ‘Little Midge’ (G-0521)
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Carex muskingumensis ‘Oehme’ full sun  partial shade

While the species inhabits moist North American woodlands and meadows, this uniquely textured sport, discovered in landscape architect Wolfgang Oehme’s garden, is somewhat drought tolerant once established. First a solid color, later enhanced with narrow yellow edges, the bright green blades are tapered and arranged horizontally like palm fronds on mostly upright triangular stems, knitting a tropical-styled, semideciduous ground cover.

Versatile and deer resistant, ‘Oehme’s slow spreading steadfast clump produces chocolate-colored spiky inflorescences, handles sun or shade, favors ample moisture, especially when its hot and looks just right along a walkway, streamside, or in a container.

Blooms June.

Size: 18"–2' 0" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.


Carex muskingumensis ‘Oehme’ (G-0505)
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Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’ full sun  partial shade
Variegated Japanese Sedge

Touted as one of the most graceful of the variegated sedges, this clump-forming evergreen Carex captivates us with dense and dapper, gracefully weeping blades. A butter-colored median band daringly lights up each long, fine textured dark green leaf. Carex oshimensis dwells amid the rock-laden slopes and dry woodlands on Japan’s main island, Honshu, rendering ‘Evergold’ a choice contender for your favorite pot, the rockery or woods. Smoothing over hard edges and luminous en masse, it happily obliges varied conditions, except intense hot weather.

Size: 10"–14" high x 12"–2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 6.


Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’ (G-0506)
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Carex oshimensis ‘Gold Strike’ full sun  partial shade
Oshima Sedge
<i>Carex oshimensis</i> ‘Gold Strike’

Arching upward and out, this Carex’s lush foliage is elegant. A glinting cascade of refined, evergreen blades presents dark green margins with broad, alabaster-colored central stripes that mature to creamy yellow. Languishing if it’s too hot, slow spreading ‘Gold Strike’ thrives in moist, well drained sites, and makes a bold statement when its densely set, variegated tussocks are planted in a meandering swath amidst Pulmonaria ‘Benediction’ or Epimediums.

Size: 15"–20" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 6.


Carex oshimensis ‘Gold Strike’ (G-0461)
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Carex pensylvanica partial shade  shade lover
Oak Sedge
<i>Carex pensylvanica</i>

Wish you had a lush green no-mow carpet that can tackle dry conditions and requires little care? This low growing, fine textured Sedge may be just what you’re looking for. Slowly spreading by reddish brown rhizomes, Carex pensylvanica makes a soft-looking fountain- like ground cover with delicate semievergreen blades plus white-edged purple and brown thimble-like inflorescences. Indigenous to the thickets and oak inhabited woodlands of eastern and central North America, Oak Sedge works great in well-drained shady expanses, such as underneath deciduous trees and large perennials, or as a lawn substitute, where there’s not much foot traffic.

Blooms May

Size: 6"–12" high x 8"–15" wide; hardy to zone 4.


Carex pensylvanica (G-0545)
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Carex ‘Silver Sceptre’ partial shade  shade lover  new plant

Originally cultivated by Japan’s variegated grass enthusiast, the late Dr. Yokoi, slow spreading ‘Silver Sceptre’ yields bright white margins that are big on sparkle, though the long, arching narrow green blades span a mere 1/8 in. Greenish brown flower spikes lend subtle interest on triangular stems, while the compelling silver-laced foliar accents jazz up containers or massed plantings. Utilized as an obliging evergreen ground cover, ‘Silver Sceptre's refined habit tackles deer, drought and various soil conditions plus heavy shade and cold winters.

Blooms May

Size: 8"–12" high x 12"–18" wide; hardy to zone 5.


Carex ‘Silver Sceptre’ (G-0561)
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Carex tenuiculmis full sun  partial shade
New Zealand Sedge

A cozy fusion of colors—from dark chocolate and cappuccino to reddish bronze—distinguish this fine textured evergreen sedge. Whether positioned in a border, cascading over a wall or embellishing a container, the long and narrow, arching foliage fashions a loosely arranged, graceful mound whose rich warm tones juxtapose green and golden leafage to great affect.

Carex tenuiculmis favors moist soil, and can be brought inside wherever it’s not winter hardy.

Size: 12"–15" high x 12"–15" wide; hardy to zone 7.


Carex tenuiculmis (G-0471)
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Carex testacea full sun  partial shade
Orange New Zealand Sedge

The exotic look of lucent orange foliage paints the garden’s verdant canvas nearly year round. Long, fine textured strands first emerge an olive-green and later transmute stunning golden brown, copper and orange highlights. With its upright and dense arching tuft, easy-to-grow Carex testacea is a hardy, drought tolerant grass that entices gardeners, but not deer, insisting on full sun to preserve the extraordinary hues, and good drainage.

Let this evergreen New Zealand native spill over a container’s edge or cozy up to Yucca ‘Garland’s Gold’, Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ and Euphorbia myrsinites.

Size: 18"–2' 0" high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 6.


Carex testacea (G-0495)
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Chasmanthium


Chasmanthium latifolium full sun  partial shade
Wood Oats

A versatile performer, clump-forming Wood Oats calls the American Southeast its home. Whether surging upright in a sunny spot, or growing more lax in a shadier location, the rich green, bamboo-like foliage makes a pendulous foil for its prized flowers.

Bearing a resemblance to oats, pale green spikelets dangle on slender, arching stems. As autumn arrives, the showy inflorescences turns a reddish bronze, while broad blades are set aglow with a vibrant gold. Paling to light salmon, the flowers stay intact through winter and are lovely when frosted with snow. Sultry and verdantly superb, this warm season grower brings captivating detail to the border or an arrangement, can handle salt spray, and even tolerates dry soil in dappled shade.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 3' 0"–4' 0" high x 2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 5.


Chasmanthium latifolium (G-0101)
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Chionochloa

Chionochloa flavicans full sun  partial shade
Snow Tussock

Gallivanting around New Zealand’s North Island on cliffs and rocky outcrops, this graceful Cortaderia relative sports lustrous dark green tussocks. Creamy silvered plumes elegantly drape on lax stems, which emanate from the cascading, loosely arranged evergreen foundation. A versatile long-lived grass whose steadfast disposition handles drought and an array of soils, Chionochloa flavicans can stand alone or be grouped as a fluid-looking ground cover, especially when planted on a hillside.

Blooms July – August.

Size: 3' 0"–4' 0" high x 3' 0"–4' 0" wide. Zone 7/8.


Chionochloa flavicans (G-0496)
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Chondropetalum


Chondropetalum tectorum full sun

This long-lived plant belongs to the Restionaceae, a family of rushlike evergreens from the Cape region of South Africa. Papery chocolate-brown bands and long lasting dark brown seed heads contrast with the wiry, deep green stems and small greenish inflorescences. Ideal for low maintenance gardens, this sculptural beauty is hardy to 20° and prefers sandy, well drained soil and dry summers. It has also, however, withstood our wet winters.

Blooms September–October.

Size: 5' 0" high x 5' 0"–7' 0" wide; hardy to zone 9.


Chondropetalum tectorum (G-0027)
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Cortaderia


Cortaderia richardii full sun
Toe Toe Grass

Conjuring visions of Victorian grandeur, this majestic New Zealand native boasts a silky, feathered fountain of alabaster-colored, pendulous plumage bathed in subtly bronzed highlights. Loose, arching inflorescences grace the centrally arranged stems, which emerge from elegant, 5 ft. tall evergreen tussocks at varied angles. Toe Toe Grass’s slim, medium green foliage and flamboyant flowers serve as a focal point amid bright-hued perennials in the mixed border, in sunny moist spots at pond and streamside, or in a boisterous bouquet.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 9' 0"–10' 0" high x 8' 0" wide. Zone 7/8.


Cortaderia richardii (G-0473)
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Deschampsia

Tufted Hair Grass

Wispy seed heads stretch in airy fans above finely cut, deep green tufted foliage. By planting Deschampsia in drifts, with a dark or solid background, its delicate, hazy quality is put to best effect. Try this one waterside, in a woodland setting, or as an accent in the perennial bed. The 50 species in this genus are, or were, found primarily in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.


Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Goldgehänge’ full sun  partial shade  new plant
Golden Tufted Hair Grass

The bright golden veil of nodding straw-colored flowers surely inspired this Deschampsia’s cultivar name. Dense forest green tussocks anchor slightly pendulous stems dressed with fine textured, ethereal inflorescences that guarantee a glowing performance especially when massed and set against dark-leafed woodies like Parrotia persica.

Blooms July–October

Size: 2' 0"–3' 0" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.


Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Goldgehänge’ (G-0038)
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Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Goldtau’ full sun  partial shade  new plant

Defined by narrow arching deep green foliage, a winsome sturdy mound propels verdant stems, exploding into sheer sprays of distinctively hued, long lasting yellow-green flowers. The lithe inflorescences exhibit glowing bronze tones when mature and provide an enticing winter aspect plus lend exquisite accents to bouquets. Smaller and more compact than other Deschampsia cultivars, this versatile undemanding cool season grass develops a dense semievergreen habit that can be grouped along a pathway or sited among Echinops ‘Blue Glow’ and Phygelius ‘Peach Trombone’.

Blooms July-October

Size: 12"–2' 0" high x 12" wide; hardy to zone 4.


Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Goldtau’ (G-0556)
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Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Schottland’ full sun  partial shade
Scottish Tufted Hair Grass

The silky, new light green flower heads of 'Schottland' invite a touch each time we pass by. One of the largest Deschampsias, this Scottish born selection spawns inflorescences that float nearly 3 ft. above a neat rounded clump of deep green foliage. Utilize as a specimen in a mixed border or in a more untamed arena.

Blooms July–December.

Size: 3' 0"–3-1/2' high x 2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 4.


Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Schottland’ (G-0008)
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Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Tardiflora’ full sun  partial shade
Golden Tufted Hair Grass
<i>Deschampsia cespitosa</i> ‘Tardiflora’

This Karl Foerster innovation boasts small dreamy looking inflorescences, whose wide airy consortium sparkles in gold, silver and purplish shades. Topping abundant flowing panicles, they appear later than the species, mature to an amber color and linger most of the winter. Arching close-knit narrow blades, edged by in-rolled margins, compose the low growing emerald green tussock that makes a tidy verdant companion for Eryngium bourgatii and Aster asperulus.

Blooms July – December.

Size: 2' 0"–3' 0" high x 2' 0"–3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.


Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Tardiflora’ (G-0526)
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Deschampsia flexuosa full sun  partial shade  new plant
Crinkled Hair Grass

Meandering across dry open wooded areas, slopes and grasslands in North America, Europe and Asia, this tightset semievergreen grass hosts a diminutive trim tussock of arching wire-thin deep green blades beneath wide frothy inflorescences. The minute purple and bronze flowers populate swaying diaphanous panicles, which mature to gold after the seed ripens and are prized by floral arrangers as well as cardinals, finches and snow buntings. Withstanding drought and shade, Crinkled Hair Grass is an attractive formidable candidate for well-drained woodland gardens, borders or the rockery.

Blooms July–October

Size: 2' 0"–2-1/2' high x 12"–18" wide; hardy to zone 4.


Deschampsia flexuosa (G-0562)
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