Grass
Photograph
Genus species 'Cultivar' - OR -
Genus Hybrid 'Cultivar'
Description and grower
future image Andropogon
gerardii


Common Name: = Big Bluestem Grass.
Desc: Perennial in Zone 5. Native to Wisconsin. Grown in part sun, heavy clay soil. Tolerates some period of drought. Typical height 40 inches. Leaves grow gray-green to blue-green in color. In fall, leaves turn copper-red.
Grown in trial bed: P
Bloomed: .
Grower: 5/1/2002 3D Greenhouses (Mukwonago, WI)
future image Calamagrostis
x acutiflora
'Karl Foerster'

Common Name: = Feather Reed Grass.
Desc: Perennial in Zone 5. Grown in full sun, richly composted raised bed. Tolerates some period of drought. Typical height 36 inches. Stiff and upright leaves. Flowers in May. Interesting seedheads.
Grown in trial bed: B41
Bloomed: .
Grower: 5/1/2002 3D Greenhouses (Mukwonago, WI)
future image Calamagrostis
x acutiflora
'Overdam'

Common Name: = Feather Reed Grass.
Desc: Perennial in Zone 5. Grown in full sun, richly composted raised bed. Typical height 36 inches. Stiff and varigated (thin white edge) upright leaves. Flowers in May. Interesting seedheads.
Grown in trial bed: B33
Bloomed: .
Grower: 5/1/2002 3D Greenhouses (Mukwonago, WI)
Deschampsia
caespitosa
'Northern Lights'
(additional images)
Common Name: = Scottish Tufted Hair Grass.
Desc: Perennial in Zone 5. Grown in full sun, richly composted raised bed. Tolerates some period of drought. Typical height 30 inches. Meek and unimpressive during its first year, it produced significant growth in later years. Flowers in July. Very dramatic seedheads.
Grown in trial bed: B11
Bloomed: 7/1/2005 - 8/15/2005.
Grower: 5/1/2002 3D Greenhouses (Mukwonago, WI)
Festuca
glauca
'Elijahs Blue'
(additional images)
Common Name: = Blue Fescue Grass.
Desc: Perennial in Zone 5. Grown in full sun, richly composted raised bed. Tolerates some period of drought. Typical height 15 inches. Leaves grow blue-green color. Flowers in May. Interesting seedheads.
Grown in trial bed: B11
Bloomed: .
Grower: 5/1/2002 3D Greenhouses (Mukwonago, WI)
future image Imperata
cylindrica
'Red Baron'

Common Name: = Japanese Blood Grass.
Desc: Perennial in Zone 5. Grown in full sun, richly composted raised bed. Tolerates some period of drought. Typical height 18 inches. Lime green leaf blades emerge in April. As the leaf grows, a hint of red color forms at the tip. Starting in mid-summer, the red color intensifies into a very striking cranberry-red color. The red progressively works its way down towards the leaf base. By early fall, the entire leaf has turned a dark red. Non-flowering!
Grown in trial bed:
Bloomed: .
Grower: 5/1/2002 3D Greenhouses (Mukwonago, WI)
future image Pennisetum
setaceum
'Rubrum'

Common Name: = Fountain Grass.
Desc: Annual in Zone 5. Grown in full sun, richly composted raised bed. Tolerates some period of drought. Typical height 24 inches. Interesting "squirreltail" seedhead.
Grown in trial bed:
Bloomed: .
Grower: 5/1/2002 3D Greenhouses (Mukwonago, WI)
Sesleria heufleriana
Common Name: = Blue Green Moor Grass (NCS).
Desc: Perennial in Zone 4. Grown in full sun, richly composted raised bed. Tolerates some period of drought. Typical height 12 inches. Earliest blooming grass.
Grown in trial bed: B13
Bloomed: April.
Grower: ?

Phalaris arundinacea 'Picta' (Ribbon Grass)
White edged leaves produce an attractive looking plant. Classified as an 'invasive' plant, but this stereotype is an over-reaction. Rather, we found it to be a healthy ornamental grass with a spread that typically doubled in size during one season. Roots easily pulled up from soil and consequently made it simple to keep growth in check.

In 1999, we planted several new grasses. Our research is still underway and inconclusive at present, still some of these grasses proved disappointing. Growth performance in Year 2000 will be interesting to monitor. Stay tuned:

Alopecurus pratensis 'Aureus' (Yellow Foxtail Grass)
First year was disappointing, not much of a plant :-0

Elymus arenarius (Blue Lyme Grass)
Ratty and sickly looking most of the first year :-0 Glyceria maxima 'Variegata' (Manna Grass)
Another unimpressive first year grass :-0 Miscanthus sinensis 'Malepartus' (Maiden Grass)
Neat seedhead. Had pretty solid first year growth :-) Miscanthus sinensis 'Purpurascens' (Maiden Grass)
Another sickly looking first year grass :-0 Miscanthus sinensis 'Strictus' (Maiden Grass)
Cool striped leaves, but poor growth for first year :-| We have grown about a dozen ornamental grasses at our outdoor studio garden in Big Bend. Big Bend is located in southeast Wisconsin and is in USDA Hardiness Zone 5 (the warmest zone of the state). Following, is our list of favorite ornamental grasses.

Ornamental Grasses

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