Ornamental Grass Varieties

Amazing Varieties of Ornamental Grasses Enlisted Just for You

Be it formal gardens, natural plains, or meadows, ornamental grasses always add to their beauty. There is a very wide range of varieties that not only include true grasses, but also sedges, rushes, and bamboos. The article below gives you details about some common types.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2017
Grasses have been nature's choice for landscapes of the earth. These are low-maintenance, tough plants that require little care. With their fluffy panicles and variegated leaves, some of these grasses serve good as ornamental plants that can be used as borders, hedges, and in landscaping. Now a popular choice among people with love for gardening, there are a numerous ornamental grass varieties to choose from. Some common types are discussed below.

Blue Fescue (Festuca ovina var. glauca)

The long, narrow leaves with their subtle blue or gray color make the Blue Fescue a good choice for borders, xeriscapes, and rock gardens. It is a low-growing, clumping variety that grows 4 inches to 10 inches high. Although soft to touch, its needle-like leaves are tough. This type of grass prefers well-drained soil and grows best in full sunlight, although it would tolerate some shade as well.

Japanese Blood Grass (Imperata cylindrica)

A perennial variety of grass needs regular water and grows well in full to partial sunlight. It is a clumping grass with erect leaves, the top half of which bear a rich, blood-red color. The Japanese blood grass is an excellent choice for borders, as the blades allow sunlight to reach other garden plants through them. It remains dormant under the ground during winters and spreads through underground runners.

Red Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum var. rubrum)

The red fountain grass with its striking color is one the most beautiful ornamental grass. The fluffy flower heads, and the foliage that give the grass a cascading appearance, add to its charm. This is a good choice for xeriscape gardening or landscaping, where there is abundant sunlight. This grass is not a fussy one at all. Once established, it requires little watering.

Evergold Sedge (Carex oshimensis)

Evergold sedge is a mounded grass that grows up to 8 to 12 inches tall and has a spread of 12 to 14 inches on maturity. It requires moist, rich, well-drained soil, and partial sun. It bears evergreen, leathery leaves, which have a cream-colored stripe running down the center. This grass is a good choice for one's rock garden or for edging. It can also be considered for container gardening. It makes a good option for gardening as well.

Karley Rose Grass (Pennisetum orientale)

The Karley rose grass is known for its flowers that bloom into rose-purple colored smoky clouds in the month of June. This is a hardy grass that requires low maintenance. It is resistant to most insects and pests and requires little or no pruning. It just requires a well-drained soil. Once planted, the Karley rose grass adds to the beauty of the garden from early spring right to the winters.

Little Bunny Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)

The smallest member of its family, the little bunny fountain grass or just the little bunny (as it is popularly called) grows to a height of just 8 to 10 inches. On maturity, its spread measures 12 to 24 inches. As far as its moisture requirements and soil type is concerned, the little bunny is one of the most adaptable species. It grows best under partial to full sun and is an ideal consideration for rock gardens.

Rabbit's Tail Grass (Lagurus ovatus)

This one gets its name from its flowers that are white fuzzy panicles, which look like the tail of a rabbit, when in full bloom. It is an annual grass that grows to a height of 2 feet. This type prefers a sunny spot and grows best in well-drained soil. These can be easily grown from seeds and look the best when grown in clusters.

Ribbon Grass (Phalaris arundinacea)

This type is notorious for being invasive, however, it still deserves a mention, as it is one of the oldest varieties. It is known to survive on land in which no other plants seem to grow. The two popular cultivars of the ribbon grass that are preferred, because they are less invasive, are the Picata and Feesey's Form. These grasses are easier to control when grown in shade, than when exposed to full sunlight.

Most ornamental grass varieties are perennials, although a few are annuals too. They come in a large variety of sizes, colors, and textures. The flowers and seed heads are equally diverse. In short, they give a wide range of choice for us to enhance the beauty of our gardens and landscapes in a modest but emphatic way.
Rabbit's Tail Grass
Red Fountain Grass
Japanese Blood Grass
Festuca glauca Intense Blue