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Hardiness Zone Map


Sesleria

Moor Grass

This genus of reliable cool-season grasses pays homage to Leonardo Sesler, an 18th century Venetian botanist and physician who studied European flora. Sesleria’s long-lived carefree clump makes a superlative ground cover for intimate gardens or larger scale plantings.

<i>Sesleria argentea</i>

Our list of garden-worthy Sesleria is quickly growing and we’re pleased to add this well-groomed no-fuss species, hailing from southwestern Europe and northern Africa. Narrow green leaves propel numerous firm slender stems topped with a luminous flurry of silver-laced white blooms that make splendid cut flowers. Light green in dappled shade and more chartreuse when exposed to sunny drier conditions, the steadfast semievergreen mound can grace a stylized meadow, the rockery or the edge of a pathway.

Blooms July–October

Size: 16" – 20" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Indigenous to southern Europe and the Caucasus region, this accommodating grass emphasizes a low orderly mound of slender, rich yellowish green blades garnished with narrow spiky silver-white inflorescences in autumn, which later morph into attractive golden tan seed heads. Easy-care Autumn Moor Grass is favored by many gardeners, especially acclaimed plantsman Piet Oudolf, who has utilized broad sweeps at both NYC’s Highline Garden and the Lurie Garden in Chicago. Ideal planted as an expansive ground cover for informal settings, Sesleria autumnalis’ tufted nearly evergreen clump looks spiffy most of the year, triumphing over erosion, light shade, black walnuts and infrequent dry spells, plus clay, sandy or alkaline soil.

Blooms September–October

Size: 15" – 20" high x 12" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Sesleria caerulea</i>

Named to honor Leonardo Sesler, an 18th-century physician and botanist, this European native’s sturdy tuffet fashions a long-lived and versatile, noninvasive ground cover. Easily cultivated, low growing Blue Moor Grass puts forth a dense evergreen mound of soft, two-toned leaves, which are glaucous blue on top and dark green beneath. Twisted and curvy, the leaves present a cooling blue-green base for the small spiky panicles of purplish black flowers that mature to a silvered green.

With enough fortitude to handle cold weather and alkaline soils, Sesleria caerulea is unrivaled as a filler between larger grasses or for edging a pathway, and equally impressive when massed.

Blooms March–June

Size: 8" – 12" high x 8" – 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Sesleria</i> ‘Greenlee’ <i>Sesleria</i> ‘Greenlee’

Exhibiting attributes from both parents, this trim-looking evergreen, discovered by grass aficionado John Greenlee, is thought to be a hybrid between Sesleria caerulea and Sesleria autumnalis. Blue-tinged green blades bear a likeness to Sesleria caerulea’s, but are longer, while the blooms resemble those of Sesleria autumnalis, except for being thicker, more elongated and for turning a purplish brown hue when mature. Topped by reflective green inflorescences with creamy yellow pollen sacs, thin stems rise well above the amenable upright clump that withstands a multitude of exposures such as sun, shade, moisture, heat or drought. ‘Greenlee’s sprightly verdant form can be massed in a meadow or a more formal setting.

Blooms June – October

Size: 12" – 15" high x 15" – 18" wide.

Zone 6/7.

Always tidy, sadly underused and simple to maintain, the tufted silvery blue mound of this dapper European denizen spawns a taller habit, broader blades and larger blooms than those of S. caerulea. Copious early flowering ebony-colored inflorescences with creamy yellow pollen sacs are perched on slender upright stems, which eventually slacken and bend sideways above glaucous grayish green semi-evergreen leaves, donning crisp dark green undersides. Appreciative of adequate moisture plus a light trimming to refresh its pert visage, S. heufleriana withstands dry conditions once established, makes an amiable cohort for spring bulbs and looks arresting when planted en masse, either beside a path or in a border.

Blooms April–August

Size: 2' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Populating central and southern Italy and often found in calcium-rich mountainous areas, Gray Moor grass is the tallest Sesleria we offer. Dense, tufted mounds of narrow, pointy gray-green blades imbued with cool blue shades cushion the cone-shaped dark chocolate-colored blooms that don bright greenish yellow anthers. Drought tolerant near cooler coastal areas, Sesleria nitida maintains a winsome year-round presence plus makes a sturdy easy-care candidate for mass plantings in larger gardens or singularly where space is a premium.

Blooms May–early July

Size: 18" – 2' 0" high x 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our Featured Plant: Miscanthus transmorrisonensis

Ornamental Grasses: October All-Stars, Appealing American Natives

Click here to view our Early October 2019 Newsletter

Celebrated late season all-stars....

 

Offering superb versatility and non-coddle habits plus welcome deer resistance, the attributes of ornamental grasses are many! Most grasses are equally comfortable in formal or informal venues, and can be utilized as ground-covers, stand-alone specimens or for large-scale swaths. They are best situated so their shimmering inflorescences are backlit and set aglow by the afternoon sun. Bathed in amber, silver and sable colors, or smoky rose and violet shades, the graceful blooms become poetry in motion on gusty days. Apart from their kinetic appeal, many flowers and seed heads provide much-needed nourishment for birds along with bedding for their nests. Striking autumn color can be found among the blade-like foliage of Andropogon, Panicum and Schizachyrium, which splash purple, fiery red, and orange accents, while some Molinia radiate bright buttery yellows. Floral designers have long appreciated both their flowers and foliage in fresh or dried arrangements. Be sure to browse our online selections of ornamental grasses.

Ornamental grasses make commanding partners for American natives...

In hopes of showing the unique ambience that ornamental grasses impart, we decided to interweave a few of their images with some of our favorite American natives. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to usher some of these featured selections into your October garden.

 

All of us Digging Dog plant wranglers wish you Happy Digging!

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