Ornamental grasses and grasslike plants
These needle grasses were once included in Stipa. All are clump formers characterized by long awns—needlelike or threadlike appendages that give a feathery look to the inflorescence. The California natives look much alike; all are useful for revegetation of wild areas, for stabilizing soil, and for restoring natural meadows. They can be started from seed. Clear area of weeds and other grasses first; Nassella species can self-sow once established, but initially they cannot compete with other vegetation.
All these needle grasses are cool-season growers that go dormant during hot, dry summers, reviving with cooler autumn weather and rains.Nassella pulchra
The classic native California bunch grass, growing about 3 ft. tall and 2 ft. wide. Blooms in late winter and early spring, with ears producing 4-in. awns (bristles) that age to silver.
Native to Texas, New Mexico, Mexico. Among finest textured and most billowy looking of all ornamental grasses. To 2 ft. tall, 2 to 3 ft. wide, with thread-like bright green leaves. In summer, produces very thin flowering stems that arch outward and downward, ending in a cloud of silvery green, 3-in. awns that age to a light straw color and remain attractive into winter. Stays green where summers are cooler.
Thrives with little to regular water. Can self-sow in well-irrigated gardens; to prevent, cut plants back before seeds ripen.
Reaches 3 in. tall, 1 1/2 ft. wide, with cylindrical leaves and a summer-long display of rich purple f...
These clump-forming perennialshave square stems and pairedleaves. Long, tubular flowersflare out into ...
Both species described here (one of which bears edible fruit) are Chinese natives with large, prominen...