Salt Tolerant Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses are a terrific choice for landscaping plants if you live near the coast. The high amount of salty air and soil in such areas can hinder the growth of some plants, but many grasses have a high tolerance for salt. These ornamental grasses, most of which are grown for their attractive foliage, are the perfect complement to any seaside landscape or anyplace where the soil is salty.

Mist Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris)

Sometimes called mist grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris is a showy, clumping ornamental grass that features tall, feathery lavender flowers. From a distance, large groups of this plant make it look as if a purple mist is forming over the ground. The plant thrives in full sunlight, but will tolerate light shade. It can grow up to 3 feet tall and has a high salt tolerance.

Beach Panic Grass (Panicum amaroides)

Beach panic grass (Panicum amaroides) is an ornamental grass that grows very well in sand and has a high tolerance for salt. It is often found growing along the east coast of the United States. This is a clumping ornamental grass, which forms small mounds of between one and two feet high. The flowers rise tall above the foliage. Beach panic grass can vary widely in appearance, as there are at least 20 cultivators.

Sand Cordgrass (Spartina bakeri)

This is a large salt tolerant ornamental grass. Sand Cordgrass (Spartina bakeri) can reach up to 5 feet in height and thrives in full sun. The foliage is visually interesting, featuring thin, wire-like brown leaves that burst from the plant like a fountain. This grass adapts well to adverse conditions, including dry sand, and is a great plant to control erosion.

Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon japonicus)

Mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus) is the perfect plant to reach for if you have a shady area in your garden. Highly salt tolerant and attractive, this ornamental grass thrives in the shade. Mondo grass has dark, glossy leaves that look almost black. The petite lavender flowers stand out well against the foliage. In the fall, the grass produces iridescent, dark blue berries. Mondo grass grows to a maximum height of 2 feet.

Keywords: ornamental grasses, highly tolerant, salt plant

About this Author

April Sanders has been a writer and educator for 11 years. She is a published curriculum writer and has provided academic content for several subscription databases. Sanders holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social psychology and a Master's degree in information sciences and technology.