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Feather grass (stipa)
Feather grass (stipa)

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Zone
Zones 2B, 3-37, 39-41
Full Sun
Full
Regular WaterMinimal Water
Moderate, Minimal

Stipa tenuissima

Mexican Feather Grass
Poaceae (Gramineae)
Ornamental grasses and grasslike plants

STIPA

These clump-forming grasses produce large, open, airy inflorescences that can add lightness and motion to the garden. The genus has undergone much revision by botanists, and some of its former members are now known by other names; see Nassella for descriptions of California native needle grasses and the highly ornamental Mexican feather grass.

Stipa tenuissima
Stipa tenuissima

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Stipa tenuissima

Native to Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico. Among the finest textured and most billowy looking of all ornamental grasses. Grows to 2 ft. tall and 2–3 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.

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