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The Foxtail Barley from North America is an often short lived perennial of great beauty in flower. Growing to 75cm tall, but often shorter, the diffuse, long-awned, translucent, pink-suffused inflorescences are seen in June/July. For a sunny site, this can self-sow freely. Lucky you.
Lamprothyrsus hieronymi RCB RA K2-2
Elegant pampas grass relative from South America, only 1m tall and hugely more refined. Light, silvery flower heads arch outward in summer. Drought tolerant. For a sunny site.
Miscanthus lutarioriparius (Syn. Triarrhena) (new)
This is new to cultivation in the UK, from China. A truly huge exotic windproof grass reaching 5 to 6m tall; the giant of the genus. It has a running rhizome, so dig in a barrier if it is important to keep it from spreading too far or just grow it in a large pot overwintered under cover. Very hardy and easy in sun or semi-shade.
Miscanthus nepalensis Hardy form
A distinct species with truly LOVELY silky gold tinted flower heads and fluffy golden seed heads, unlike any other Miscanthus. The flowers are held on stems well clear of the foliage and the seed heads last through until spring. Height approx 1.5m. Some forms are not so hardy, but this one has come through the worst cold of the 2009 and 2010 winters with no problems.
Miscanthus sinensis 'China'
Bold clump-forming grass. Large upright plumes of richly red-tinted flowers in late summer. Height 150cm. Sun or part shade.
Miscanthus sinensis 'Kaskade' (new)
One of the finest forms of the species for flower effect, this produces heavy, arching, exceptionally plumose pink-tinted silvery flower heads relatively early in the season in August. Height 2m. Easy in most soils.
Miscanthus sinensis 'Kleine Fontäne'
Fine textured and compact to 1.5m tall, the silvery flowerheads are seen in late summer atop the upright stems. Makes good clumps of relatively slim foliage. Hardy, for sun or semi-shade.
Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light'
Graceful white striped very slim foliage. Pink flower spikes in autumn, though mainly grown for spectacular foliage effect. Height 1.5m. Sun or part shade.
Miscanthus sinensis 'Rotsilber' (new)
Bold clump forming grass to 1.5m. Arching foliage, shiny red flowers, and good autumn colour of orangey-maroon. Sun or part shade.
Miscanthus sinensis var. condensatus NJM 11.021
A collection of this large growing variety from 1800m on Leigongshan, Guizhou, China. Long, comparatively broad foliage, mid green with a central white pinstripe, arches out from the clump. The cream flowers rise distinctively high above the foliage in late summer to 2.5m. A striking variety, useful in the garden as a statement. For sun.
From the high mountains of Taiwan this is a virtually evergreen species in our climate with elegant narrow arching foliage reaching 90cm high on an upright clump. Flowering stems rise clear of the foliage to about 2m, topped by arching pinky-white plumes of flower early in the Miscanthus season in July-Aug. Sun or semi-shade. Hardy.
Molinia caerulea 'Dark Defender' (new)
A form of Purple Moor Grass with splendid black, slim, linear flower-heads which stand at the tips of vertical stems in summer. Makes a good clump which bleaches out in autumn and stays firm and effective all winter. Hardy, easy, to approx. 1m tall.
Molinia caerulea 'Skyracer' (new)
A very handsome tall grass, the diffuse late summer purple-green inflorescences are held on wiry upright stems to 2.1m tall, giving a bold airy effect. The foliage contrasts by staying in a basal clump of comparatively broad arching leaves. The whole plant turns to shades of yellow in autumn. Hardy. Sun or semi-shade.
One of the most beautiful of all grasses, but sadly not the hardiest, the Bamboo Muhly from Arizona to S. Mexico is suitable for milder areas or pot culture. Slim, well branched, arching stems to 1.2m move in the slightest breeze and are clad in exceptionally fine foliage, creating a billowing cloud like effect. Mine look mighty fine in pots juxtaposed with bold succulents etc.
Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Red Head' (new)
A Fountain grass with, in this form, soft-red-pink spikes to 1m in summer. Fluffy, elongated and as beautiful as ever. Deciduous. Sun, well drained soil. Hardy.
Long, slim, whitish 'paint brush' flower spikes in late summer and autumn. Upright and clump forming. Height 1.5m. Warm, sunny position. A fine, bold, hardy grass from South Africa.
Pennisetum orientale 'Karley Rose' (new)
Particularly good soft-pink, slim, 'bottle-brush-like' flower heads on a tall plant to about 80cm in summer. Sun and well drained soil. Hardy.
Stipa gigantea 'Goldilocks' (new)
A recently selected slightly more compact form of this magnificent species. Huge, but very airy heads of whispy flowers turn straw coloured in summer and are held through to winter giving an extremely long season of interest. Height 1.5 to 1.8m. Sun. Big but fairly transparent. I would not be without this species.
Stipa pseudoichu (new)
A collection from N. Argentina of this highly attractive ornamental grass. Very fine green foliage forms a basal clump and from it rises fairly tall flower stalks topped by wispy arching heads of silvery pale-beige in late summer. Height 1.5m. For sun and reasonably well drained soil.
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