When most think of grass they think of lawn sod. However, gardeners should think about the brilliant displays that ornamental grass can give a landscape. Grass plants can be short and make for good borders or tall and stately making for a great privacy screen. Some use ornamental grass to bookend a house or driveway. Whatever the use, examples of grass plants can usually be found in traditional landscapes.

Cortaderia selloana pumila pampas grass foliage
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pampas grass

Palm Grass

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palm grass

Palm grass or bristle grass is also known as Setaria palmifolia. It is an easy and fast growing evergreen. It can reach 8 to 10 feet high with pleated leaves that are palm-like in appearance. There is a spike of plumes at the top. It works well in a tropical landscape setting. To plant a palm grass plant, choose full sun or partial shade with a moist soil. It can be propagated by seed or by division as needed. Hardiness ranges for palm grass include USDA zones 8 through 11.

Indian Wood-oats

Green cereal field after rain
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indian wood-oat field

Indian wood-oats or northern sea oats is also known as Chasmanthium latifolium. It is a shade-tolerant perennial grass. It grows 2 to 5 feet high in a clump form with the leaves looking like flat oats. Flowers are in flat clusters and turn a red-bronze in the winter. To plant, choose a moist soil with full sun but it will tolerate dry soil and partial shade conditions. It can be propagated by clump division or by seed. Hardiness ranges for Indian wood-oats include USDA zones 4 through 9.

Pampas Grass

Pampas grass
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pampas grass

Pampas grass is also known as Cortaderia selloana. It is an easy, fast growing evergreen that is drought-tolerant and perennial. It can reach 12 feet high with narrow leaves that grow in a fountain form. Plumes of feathery foliage will be gold-brown in the winter. It should be planted in well-drained fertile soil with full sun. It tolerates light shade. Propagate by seed or by division. Hardiness ranges for pampas grass include USDA zones 8 through 10.


Grass Plant
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liriope grass

Liriope, or border grass, is also known as Liriope muscari. It is an evergreen perennial that grows 10 to 18 inches tall. Leaves are dark green and ribbon-like. Flowers can be white, purple or violet and stand tall in a spike. After flowering, black or white berries occur. It should be planted in fertile soil that has been well-worked with sun or shade conditions. Propagate by berries planted or by division. Hardiness ranges for liriope include USDA zones 7 through 11.