Black Mondo Grass

‘Ebony Night’

A stunning groundcover, Black Mondo Grass rewards you with dark lavender flowers and deep purple autumn berries to accentuate it’s already unique “black” foliage.  It is a great addition to containers or along the edge of a flower bed.  Native to East Asian this plant is actually not a member of the grass family but a close relative to the Lily-of-the-Valley.

It is a rather slow grower but can be divided each Spring to produce more plants you can use to fill in garden spaces.

Black Mondo Grass

Ophiopogan planiscapus

  • Light Exposure: Sun-partial shade
  • Soil Type: Moist, fertile
  • Height: 6″
  • Width: 1′
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Bloom Colour: Lilac, pink
  • Foliage Colour: Dark purple
  • Pests and Disease: Trouble free
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders, slopes, groundcover
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, cut flowers
  • Zone: 6-11

Example Varieties:

Side Oats Grass

Side Oats Grass

Bouteloua curtipendula

  • Light Exposure: Sun
  • Soil Type: Most soil types
  • Height: 24-32″
  • Width: 12-18″
  • Bloom Time: n/a
  • Bloom Colour: n/a
  • Foliage Colour: Bluish green
  • Pests and Disease: Root rot, leaf spot, grasshoppers
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, attracts birds, Winter interest
  • Zone: 8-10

Example Varieties:

Prairie Dropseed

Prairie Dropseed

Sporobolus heterolepsis

  • Light Exposure: Sun
  • Soil Type: Dry-moderate wet, well draining
  • Height: 24-36″
  • Width: 12-16″
  • Bloom Time: Late Summer to Fall
  • Bloom Colour: Pink
  • Foliage Colour: Medium Green; gold in Fall
  • Pests and Disease: Rust, leaf spot, root rot
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Fall colour, attractive foliage
  • Zone: 3-9

Example Varieties:

Feather Reed Grass

Calamagrostis x acutiflora

 

‘Karl Foerster’

 

  • Light Exposure: Sun-partial shade
  • Soil Type: fertile, well draining
  • Height: 2-4′
  • Width: 1-2′
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Bloom Colour: Purple changing to brown
  • Foliage Colour: Deep green
  • Pests and Disease: Foliage rust
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders, privacy
  • Special Features: Fall colour, Winter interest, attractive foliage, dried flowers, drought tolerant
  • Zone: 4-9

Example Varieties:

Feather Reed Grass

Fountain Grass

Fountain Grass

Pennisetum sp.

  • Light Exposure: Sun
  • Soil Type: Fertile, well draining
  • Height: 2-4′
  • Width: 1-4′
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Bloom Colour: White, dark purple, cream
  • Foliage Colour: Green, red, variegated
  • Pests and Disease: Trouble free
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, Fall colour, Cut and dried flowers, attracts birds, drought tolerant
  • Zone: 5-9

Example Varieties:

Indian Grass

‘Sioux Blue’

This North American prairie grass loves things hot.  So much so that controlled burns are encourage to help renew it’s growth.  While that would only happen on a grander scale Indian Grass in the garden is popular because of it’s feathery upright blades of grass and soft brown plume like flower heads.  It turns a rich shade of gold and purple in the fall and is a popular choice in beautification projects.

Dived Indian grass in Spring to keep it tidy and to give you more plants to share elsewhere.

Indian Grass

Sorghastrum nutans

  • Light Exposure: Sun-partial shade
  • Soil Type: Moist, well draining
  • Height: 5-7′
  • Width: 16-32″
  • Bloom Time: n/a
  • Bloom Colour: n/a
  • Foliage Colour: Green
  • Pests and Disease: Aphids, mites, leaf spot, rust
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Drought tolerant, attractive foliage
  • Zone: 5-10

Example Varieties:

Golden Japanese Forest Grass

Japanese Forest Grass

Hakonechloa macra

  • Light Exposure: Partial sun-shade
  • Soil Type: Moist, well draining
  • Height: 12-14″
  • Width: 12-16″
  • Bloom Time: n/a
  • Bloom Colour: n/a
  • Foliage Colour: green, green/yellow variegated
  • Pests and Disease: Trouble free
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders, slopes, groundcover
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, drought tolerant
  • Zone: 5-9

Example Varieties:

Graybeard Grass

Native to Siberia, Mongolia, China, Korea and Japan, Graybeard Grass is another one of those ornamental grasses that looks it’s best when planted in areas that showcases its clumping format and deep burgundy flowers that evolve into a wheat coloured straw. It is tall and showy and provides that rare winter interest when left untrimmed.

Divide in the Spring or let it go to seed to produce more plants.

Graybeard Grass

Spodiopogon sibiricus

  • Light Exposure: Partial shade
  • Soil Type: Moist, well draining
  • Height: 4′
  • Width: 1-2′
  • Bloom Time: Insignificant
  • Bloom Colour: Insignificant
  • Foliage Colour: Green
  • Pests and Disease: Trouble free
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, Winter interest
  • Zone: 4-8

Example Varieties:

Greater Wood Rush

Native to Europe and Southwest Asis the Greater Wood Ruch is a vigourous ornamental grass that is perfect for weed control without being invasive.  The tips of each blade can be trimmed if they begin to brown and you can divide the plant either in the Spring or Early Fall.

Greater Wood Rush

Luzula sylvatica

  • Light Exposure: Partial sun-shade
  • Soil Type: Acidic, moist, fertile
  • Height: 12-16″
  • Width: 16-30″
  • Bloom Time: n/a
  • Bloom Colour: n/a
  • Foliage Colour: Bright green
  • Pests and Disease: Trouble free
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders, groundcover
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, drought tolerant
  • Zone: 4-9

Example Varieties:

Japanese Blood Grass

Japanese Blood Grass

Imperata cylindrica

  • Light Exposure: Sun-partial shade
  • Soil Type: Moist-wet
  • Height: 12-16″
  • Width: 1′
  • Bloom Time: n/a
  • Bloom Colour: n/a
  • Foliage Colour: Green with red tips
  • Pests and Disease: Trouble free
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, Fall colour
  • Zone: 5-10

Example Varieties:

Japanese Sedge

Japanese Sedge

Carex sp.

  • Light Exposure: Partial sun-shade
  • Soil Type: Wet to very wet
  • Height: 6-30″
  • Width: 6-30″
  • Bloom Time: n/a
  • Bloom Colour: n/a
  • Foliage Colour: Bronze, gold/green, blue/green
  • Pests and Disease: Trouble free
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders, groundcover
  • Special Features: Winter interest, attractive foliage
  • Zone: 5-9

Example Varieties:

Lyme Grass

Lyme Grass

Leymus arenarius

  • Light Exposure: Sun-partial shade
  • Soil Type: Dry-wet
  • Height: 3-4′
  • Width: 1-3′
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Bloom Colour: Blue/green
  • Foliage Colour: Green
  • Pests and Disease: Trouble free
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, Winter interest
  • Zone: 4-10

Example Varieties:

Moor Grass

Ornamental grasses don’t get a lot of love in most gardenscapes partly due to our association with grass and the work involved to maintain it.  However each year newer and dramatic varieties are introduced into the gardening world making it almost impossible to resist their draw.  Upright, tidy, bushy mounds of Moor Grass with it’s bright green blades it a great addition to any bright and sunny spot.  While slow to establish they produce gorgeous late season interest by changing into brilliant autumn tones that revive a possibly tired garden at the end of it’s season.

Moor grass should be divided every 2 to 3 years in the Spring to give it a renewal on life making the center of each mound continue to appear tidy and clean while giving you more plants to use elsewhere.

Moor Grass

Molinia sp.

  • Light Exposure: Sun-partial shade
  • Soil Type: Moderate-moist
  • Height: 2-7′, depending on variety
  • Width: Up to 1′
  • Bloom Time: Spring to Fall, depending on variety
  • Bloom Colour: Purplish panicles
  • Foliage Colour: Green, variegated
  • Pests and Disease: Leaf spot
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders, privacy
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, Fall colour, cut and dried flowers, attract birds, drought tolerant
  • Zone: 5-9

Example Varieties:

Silver Grass

Silver Grass, Maiden Grass

Miscanthus sp.

  • Light Exposure: Sun-partial shade
  • Soil Type: Well draining
  • Height: 2-9′, depending on variety
  • Width: 2-5′, depending on variety
  • Bloom Time: Fall
  • Bloom Colour: Pinkish, fluffy
  • Foliage Colour: Green, burgundy/copper in Fall
  • Pests and Disease: Trouble free
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders, privacy
  • Special Features: Fall colour, attractive foliage, Winter interest, attracts birds, cut and dried flowers
  • Zone: 4-9

Example Varieties:

Bottlebrush Grass

Bottlebrush Grass

Elymus hystrix

  • Light Exposure: Sun-partial shade
  • Soil Type: Loamy, dry, rocky
  • Height: 2-5′
  • Width: 1-2′
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Bloom Colour: White panicles
  • Foliage Colour: Gray/green
  • Pests and Disease: Trouble free
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, attracts butterflies
  • Zone: 4-9

Example Varieties:

Switch Grass

Native to the United States, Switch Grass is used extensively for erosion control, biofuel, high quality lifestock hay.  It  will grow in all soil types and is a great hiding place for all sorts of animals. Place it in your landscape in an area that will most appreciate its clumping habit and tall grassy leaves.

Switch Grass

Panicum virgatum

  • Light Exposure: Sun-partial shade
  • Soil Type: Well draining
  • Height: 4-6′
  • Width: 9″-3′
  • Bloom Time: Late Summer to Fall
  • Bloom Colour: Dark red, purple panicle
  • Foliage Colour: Green
  • Pests and Disease: Trouble free
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders, privacy
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, Winter interest, Fall colour, cut and dried flowers, attracts birds, drought tolerant
  • Zone: 5-9

Example Varieties:

Tufted Hair Grass

Tufted Hair Grass

Deschampsia caespitosa

  • Light Exposure: Partial sun-shade
  • Soil Type: Moist
  • Height: 1-3′
  • Width: 1-2′
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Bloom Colour: Gold
  • Foliage Colour: Green
  • Pests and Disease: Rabbits
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, Fall colour, cut and dried flowers
  • Zone: 4-9

Example Varieties: