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Anemanthele lessoniana, photo courtesy of Linda Lamb Peters
Anemanthele lessoniana, photo courtesy of Linda Lamb Peters

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Anemanthele lessoniana

Pheasant's-tail Grass

Ornamental grasses and grasslike plants, Semi-evergreen

From New Zealand. This fine-textured, colorful, cool-season grass grows quickly to form a dense tuft 2 1/2–3 ft. tall and wide. Slender, arching leaves are olive green, streaked with orange in summer and completely suffused with coppery hues in fall and winter. In early summer, thin stems to 2 1/2 ft. long arch outward to produce a purplish haze of feathery, dangling flowers. Excellent asa focal point or large-scale groundcover; grows well in a large container. Flowers pretty in fresh and dried arrangements.

Neaten its appearance by removing any dead leaves in early spring. Cut back to 6–10 in. tall in late winter every few years to rejuvenate the foliage.

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