Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Molinia caerulea
Molinia caerulea

Click to Enlarge

Zones 1-9, 14-17, 32-41
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Ample WaterRegular Water
Ample, Moderate

Molinia caerulea ‘Variegata’

Variegated Moor Grass
Poaceae (Gramineae)
Ornamental grasses and grasslike plants


Native to moist places from the British Isles to Siberia and south to the Caucasus and Turkey; resents dry, alkaline conditions. Long lived but slow growing, taking several years to reach full size. Erect, narrow light green leaves form a neat, dense clump. In summer, spikelike clusters of yellowish to purplish flowers rise above clump; they turn to tan and last well into fall. Inflorescences are profuse but narrow, giving the clump a see-through quality. Good cut flowers.

In late fall, both leaves and flower clusters detach from the bulbous crown, leaving nothing visible above ground. There are two forms of moor grass, each with numerous varieties. The typical form, often called purple moor grass, produces a leafy clump to 1–2 ft. high and wide; flower stalks are 2–3 ft. tall.


This long-lived, slow-growing perennial grass takes several years to reach its full size of 2–3 ft. tall. Has leaves broadly edged in creamy white; yellowish flower stems arch out in all directions, giving a perfect fountain effect. Resents dry, alkaline conditions.

You Might Also Like...

Pulmonaria angustifolia

Native to Europe. Grows to 8–12 in. high aand 1 1/2 ft. wide, with narrowish dark green leaves a...

Eranthis cilicica

From Greece, Asia Minor. Grows to 2–8 in. tall, blooming in early spring. Blooms a bit later tha...


Low-growing shade lovers with quiet charm. In many kinds, foliage is attractively dappled with gray or...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More