Ornamental Grasses come into their own in summer, so why not come into The Rock Pile and own one or two or three… Ornamental Grasses thrive in full sun and the heat of summer. Today we’ll focus on those that get at least four feet tall. It is these grasses that provide a landscape focal point or can be used as a privacy screen or even to hide a utility box.
First up is a group of grasses in the genus Miscanthus.These are known by their common name of Maiden Grass. Morning Light is a type of maiden grass that features fine white stripes on narrow leaf blades. Flame Grass is another Miscanthus that turns to brilliant reddish color in autumn. The most commonly used ornamental grass in our area is Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillima’ or for ease of spelling just Maiden Grass. It has medium green leaves and reaches about 5’ tall by 5’ wide. Largest of this group is Zebra Grass. It has yellow bands (stripes) on its leaves all growing season. It gets about 7 feet tall and makes an ideal screen. In the fall of the year all maiden grasses produce showy plumes (flowers) that add landscape interest into the winter. It is best to cut these grasses back in spring rather than fall. The brown leaf blades act like a blanket and help keep the underground stems and roots alive over winter.
Other grasses we offer include Ravenna Grass, Giant Reed, and true Pampas Grass. Ravenna Grass grows to a whopping 12 feet though much of that height is from the huge plumes it produces in the fall. Giant Reed is another tall one at about ten feet. We offer a variety called Peppermint Stick with stunning white-striped leaves. We also offer true, cold-hardy pampas grass in a variety called Jet Streams. It grows to about 4 feet tall and wide with gorgeous white flowers. For those who have spent time in the Carolinas or southward this is that grass! Jet Streams is hardy here per one of our nursery colleagues in “tropical” Rochester, New York.
Last, but not least, is bamboo. Yes, it is a grass and as mentioned in earlier e-newsletters we offer only hardy, non-invasive types. Unlike the grasses mentioned above bamboo favors shade and is evergreen.
Sun or shade The Rock Pile has an ornamental grass for you. They’re big, bold, and beautiful!