Ornamental grasses and grasslike plants
Only a few love grasses are cultivated in gardens. These form graceful clumps of fine-textured foliage; airy floral plumes float like clouds above the leaves. Useful as textural accents or as bank or groundcovers. All are drought-tolerant and need excellent drainage; they grow best in sandy soils. They reseed readily. Plants are tough and carefree; cut back to a few inches tall in late fall or winter to make way for new spring growth.
From southern Africa and India. Billowing mass of slender, dark green, hairlike leaves reaches 3 ft. tall and wide. In summer, lavender-gray flower plumes increase plant height to 4 ft. Foliage picks up yellow and bronzy hues in cold weather. Evergreen in mild-winter zones. Excellent for massing. Tolerates almost any soil and may be used to control erosion.
Native from Maine to Minnesota, south to Florida, Arizona, and Mexico. Light green leaves form a compact clump to about 1 1/2 ft. high and wide. In late summer, plants are covered with wispy clouds of rosy purple plumes that increase the overall height to 2 ft. Leaves turn reddish purple in fall, when flowers have faded to soft cream. Good color combination with gray-leafed plants.
Native to California. Flowers are white, marked with fine purple lines and dots; a large purple dot ap...
Native to central and eastern North America. Similar to A. pachypoda, but with poisonous berr...
Ivy is appreciated by some gardeners for its ability to cover quickly, reviled by others—particu...