Great Grasses are Stars of the Fall Garden!

Posted on 09/19/2013

With their feathery plumes, changing foliage color, and textures, Ornamental Grasses become stars of the Fall Garden! Many grasses are just hitting their prime in September so get to your favorite garden center and get some Fabulous Fall Foliage before they are gone! 

 

Andropogon gerardii –

Common Name: Big Blue Stem, Turkey Foot

The attractive foliage on this grass changes color seasonally from grayish blue to green in Spring, to green with red tinges in late Summer and then a reddish bronze after the first frost.   Flowering stems rise in late summer above the foliage clump bearing purplish flower clusters up to 4” long that resemble turkey feet.  This graceful looking grass will grow 4-6’ tall.

Andropogon gerardii Big Blue Stem, Turkey Foot

 

Bouteloua 'Blonde Ambition' 

Common Name: Native Blue Grama Grass

The showy blonde seed heads on this ornamental grass will provide texture and interest throughout the fall and winter months.

 Bouteloua Blonde Ambition  Native Blue Grama Grass

 

Miscanthus 'Variegatus' –

Common Name: Variegated Japanese Silver Grass

Tiny reddish flower tassels rise above the variegated foliage clump in August, gradually turning into silvery plumes.  This grass will grow 5+ feet tall and adds great texture as an accent plant in the garden or planted in a mass grouping.

Miscanthus Variegatus Variegated Japanese Silver Grass

 

Muhlenbergia capillaris

Common Name: Pink Muhly Grass

The Fall flowering is what most distinguishes this grass. Masses of airy, open, loosely branched pinkish-red inflorescences float above the foliage in a lengthy fall bloom. 

Muhlenbergia capillaris Pink Muhly Grass

 

Panicum ‘Heavy Metal’

Common Name: Switch Grass

Features metallic-blue leaves that turn yellow in autumn and fade to beige in winter.  Airy, pink tinged flower panicles hover over the foliage in mid-summer. These panicles will turn straw-yellow and remain well into winter providing visual interest as well as food for birds.

Panicum Heavy Metal Switch Grass

 

Spodiopogon sibiricus –

Common Name: Frost Grass

Bamboo like foliage that takes on a purplish-red tinge in late Summer and remains through most of Winter.  Airy flower plumes rising 12+ inches above the showy foliage will ‘Shimmer’ in the sun!

Spodiopogon sibiricus Frost Grass

 

Sporobolus wrightii

Common Name: Giant Sacaton

One to two foot plumes wave above narrow, arching, blades of green foliage that turns golden in the winter months.  Blooms will persist well into winter.  With a 3-5’ spread, this great grass will grow almost as wide as it does tall!

Sporobolus wrightii Giant Sacaton