Grasses

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Ornamental grasses are unique among garden plants. Responding to the subtle changes of the seasons they can be enjoyed throughout the year. A delightful sight as they emerge in the spring and sway with the summer winds, the showy plumes in the fall hold strong even during the winter snows.

CALAMAGROSTIS acutiflora 'Avalanche'
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Avalanche Reed Grass
height: 4-5' zone: 4 habit: upright
An upright grass with a white stripe down the center of each leaf blade. It has the opposite coloration of 'Overdam'. Plumes appear in early summer.
CALAMAGROSTIS a. 'Karl Foerster'
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Feather Reed Grass
height: 3-5' zone: 4 habit: erect
Thin, green, finely pointed leaves stand erect showing it to be one of the best grass additions for the landscape. Rough to the touch and well suited to small gardens. Golden plumes develop in August.
CALAMAGROSTIS a. 'Overdam'
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Variegated Feather Reed Grass
height: 3-5' zone: 5 habit: erect
Green foliage with white edges, finely pointed and rough to the touch. Pinkish plumes appearing in late summer. Tolerates moist to wet soil.
CAREX morrowii 'Ice Dance'
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Ice Dance Sedge
height: 12-16" zone: 5 habit: arching clump
Versatile sedge with white margins on green leaves. Nice groundcover, border or rock garden grass.
CAREX oshimensis 'Evergold'
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Variegated Japanese Sedge
height: 6-12" zone: 5 habit: low clump
Creamy-yellow and green variegated semi-evergreen foliage in a tight clump form. Excellent choice for low mass plantings for season-long color. Can tolerate light shade, does best in moist, gravelly soil.
CHASMANTHIUM latifolium
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Northern Sea Oats
height: 2-3' zone: 4 habit: arching clump
Light green foliage changes to copper in fall then to brown in winter. Nodding flat oats arch early in fall and persist well into winter making a most attractive winter skeleton. Prefers well-drained soil. Use in groups. SALT TOLERANT.
CHASMANTHIUM  latifolium 'River Mist' PPAF
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Variegated Northern Sea Oats
height: 2-3'   zone: 5   habit: arching clump
Striking bright green and white striped, bamboo-like foliage. Silvery-green, nodding flat oats appear in late summer and persist well into winter making a most attractive winter skeleton. Reseeds green.
FESTUCA glauca 'Elijah Blue'
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Blue Fescue
height: 6-10" zone: 4 habit: low clump
Good blue color all summer. Well-behaved grass for rock gardens, edging or in mass for a groundcover, use on slopes or level ground. This soft spikey grass needs well-drained soil and will usually die in clay. SALT TOLERANT.
HAKONECHLOA macra 'Aureola'
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Variegated Forest Grass
height: 8-14" zone: 5 habit: cascading
Broad green and yellow cascading foliage forms graceful mounds along foot paths, over rocks, and along water edges. Lovely shade grass for special areas.
HELICTOTRICHON sempervirens
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Blue Oat Grass
height: 18-24" zone: 4 habit: vase
Blue-gray spikey leaves form a vase-shape. Drought and heat tolerant. To look its best needs full sun and is SALT TOLERANT.
IMPERATA cylindrica 'Red Baron'
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Japanese Blood Grass
height: 12-18" zone: 5 habit: erect spreader
Wide leaf blades start as green turning a vibrant red color as they extend. Best color in full sun but tolerates part shade in moist well-drained soil. Not usually invasive in colder northern climates, but pick your site carefully!
MISCANTHUS sinensis 'Cabaret'
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Cabaret Japanese Silver Grass
height: 6-7' zone: 6 habit: vase
Elegant ribbon-like foliage with wide white linear stripes and dark green outer edges. The bold foliage is topped with copper colored plumes with a tint of pink in September changing to tan in winter. Good as a specimen, screen or use in mass.
MISCANTHUS sinensis 'Gold Bar' PP15193
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Gold Bar Maiden Grass
height: 3-4' zone: 5 habit: upright
Stunning 'Miscanthus' from Oregon. Compact, heavily banded, about 12-17 bands per leaf. Slow growing and dramatic.
MISCANTHUS sinensis 'Gracillima'
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Maiden Grass
height: 5-7' zone: 4 habit: erect
A narrow deep green blade with a single thin white stripe on the midrib. Copper-colored plumes in September, 24" above the foliage lasting through the winter and often maturing to a silver color. Always dependable.
MISCANTHUS sinensis 'Little Zebra' PP13008
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Little Zebra Grass
height: 3-4' zone: 5 habit: upright
Strong horizontal gold banding on a narrow green blade. August brings reddish-purple plumes on a superb, shorter grass.
MISCANTHUS sinensis 'Morning Light'
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Variegated Maiden Grass
height: 4-5' zone: 5 habit: upright, vase
Fine-textured deep green blades with a narrow band of clear white on the leaf margins, making it look silver from a distance. Plumes appear 1-2' above the foliage in October, reddish-brown in color lasting the winter. Prefers moist to wet soil.
MISCANTHUS sinensis 'Nippon'
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Silver Grass
height: 3-4' zone: 5 habit: erect
Slender green leaves with red stems. Silver plumes show in fall. This grass has a fine texture and stays compact.
MISCANTHUS sinensis 'Purpurascens'
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Flame Grass
height: 3-4' zone: 4 habit: erect
Compact cultivar with pale green blades turning outstanding orange-red color in the fall. Silver plumes appear in August lasting through winter. Excellent specimen.
MISCANTHUS sinensis 'Strictus'
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Porcupine Grass
height: 6-7' zone: 4 habit: erect
Green blades with wide yellow bands along the stem soften the stiff vertical leaf blades. The tight upright habit lends itself well to a screen or as a specimen. Coppery plumes appear in September and add interest all winter. Similar to Miscanthus s. 'Zebrinus' with a more erect habit.
MISCANTHUS sinensis 'Variegatus'
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Striped Eulalia Grass
height: 5-6' zone: 5 habit: mound
Wide leaves with a creamy-white and dark green variegation, taking on a loose mounded shape. Copper-colored plumes in September add interest throughout the fall and winter. Best color in full sun.
OPHIOPOGON planiscapus 'Nigrescens'
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Black Mondo Grass
height: 6-10" zone: 5 habit: small clump
Unusual black Liriope-type grass. Small pinkish flowers in summer. Slow spreading, useful as an accent plant. Mulch in exposed winter sites.
PANICUM virgatum 'Heavy Metal'
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Blue Switch Grass
height: 3-4' zone: 4 habit: erect
Blue, strong blades keep an upright habit. Performs well in windy sites. SALT TOLERANT. Delicate seed heads soften the appearance.
PANICUM virgatum 'Shenandoah'
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Red Switch Grass
height: 3-4' zone: 4 habit: erect
Keeps a compact erect form all season. Foliage starts deep-green, by summer red tones appear, fall brings full wine color to be enjoyed into winter.
PENNISETUM alopecuroides
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Fountain Grass
height: 3-4' zone: 5 habit: arching
Cold-hardy fountain grass. Narrow green leaves form a soft arching mound. Seed heads are green in summer becoming gold-brown foxtails in autumn.
PENNISETUM alopecuroides 'Hameln'
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Dwarf Fountain Grass
height: 2-3' zone: 5 habit: arching
Compact glossy green foliage in an arching mound becoming strawcolor as winter approaches. Creamy-white foxtail plumes turn almond as they mature. One of the best dwarf grasses for mass plantings.
PENNISETUM alopecuroides 'Little Bunny'
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Miniature Fountain Grass
height: 12" zone: 5 habit: compact mound
Another choice for the smaller garden. Miniature form of Fountain Grass, great for edging. Plumes in August, holding nicely into winter.
PENNISETUM orientale 'Karley Rose' PP12909
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Oriental Fountain Grass
height: 3' zone: 5 habit: arching
Foliage is green and arching showing smoky pink plumes in summer into fall. Drought tolerant and quick to establish.
PENNISETUM setaceum rubrum
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Purple Fountain Grass
height: 3-4' zone: 9 habit: upright mound
Both foliage and plumes make a vivid accent. Prefers the well-drained soil of golf courses or is at home in a coastal garden. Foliage turns straw-colored after the first hard freeze for winter interest in the garden or as a dried arrangement in your home. ANOTHER TENDER BEAUTY.
PENNISETUM setaceum 'Fireworks' PP18504
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Variegated Red Fountain Grass
height: 3-4' zone: 9 habit: upright mound
Very showy! Stripes of red, hot pink, green and white foliage explode from the center. Makes a great focal point for container plantings. Pink plumes in summer to fall. Does well in well-drained soil. TENDER.
PHALARIS arundinacea 'Strawberries and Cream'
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Ribbon Grass
height: 18-24" zone: 4 habit: spreading
White-striped foliage blushed with pink. Foliage is particularly bright in spring with new growth. Showy plumes are appealing as accents or in groups. Grows well near ponds or bog areas, but be careful, GARDEN BULLY.

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