Ornamental Grass Varieties

Ornamental grasses are those that are generally grown for their appearance, rather than as forage for animals or as a mowed lawn. Ornamental grass has many uses: as a border along a walkway, as an unusual garden centerpiece, or even as an addition to a bouquet. There are many varieties of ornamental grass available for home use.

Oriental Fountain Grass

Oriental fountain grass (Pennisetum orientale) is a bunching fountain grass native to central and southwest Asia. The lush, green grass is notable for its creamy plumes, which last throughout the summer and fall. Oriental fountain grass works well as a border plant, and the grass will also thrive in a container. For best results, plant the grass in full sunlight or partial shade, in well drained soil. Water frequently to keep the grass healthy and green.

Zebra Grass

Boasting creamy yellow and bright green striped foliage, zebra grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus') is one of the more distinct looking ornamental grasses available. The plant is quite tolerant of heat, drought and humidity, and it will thrive in full or partial sun. If left unattended, zebra grass may grow to reach heights of up to seven feet high. Tolerant of many different soil types, zebra grass should be at least grown in well drained soil.

Citronella Grass

Native to Southeast Asia, citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus) is a clumping tropical grass that offers bright-green, cascading blades. The plant is particularly valued for its scent, which is similar to citrus. The perennial plant grows best in full sunlight, in soil that is well drained. Citronella grass should be watered frequently for best results. People with sensitive skin should avoid handling the plant, as it may cause skin irritation in some individuals.

Keywords: ornamental grass, grass varieties, grass types

About this Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based out of Astoria, Ore. She has been writing professionally for five years, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for an alternative weekly paper in Santa Cruz. She has a B.A. in fine arts from the University of California in Santa Cruz and a minor in English literature.