Maryland's temperate environment is home to many ornamental lawn grasses such as sweet flag, blue fescue, Mexican feather grass and northern sea oats. Ornamental grasses are a popular landscaping elements used for backdrops and screening. Hardy and easy to grow and maintain, ornamental grasses come in many species that are specially suited to specific landscaping environments in Maryland.
Sweet flag (Acorus gramineus) is a popular ornamental grass found in Maryland. This perennial grass is native to North America and has flat, thin green leaves that extend 6 to 14 inches in height. During midsummer sweet flag grass grows small yellow flowers extending from hollow stems. Sweet flag can grow in full or partial sunlight and is commonly used for landscaping near ponds and streams.
Blue fescue (Festuca glauca) is a clumping, perennial, ornamental grass with thin, delicate green leaves arching outward from the central clump. Native to Europe but common to Maryland, blue fescue is best grown in direct sunlight and is drought tolerant, actually preferring dry topsoil and cooler temperatures. The central clump can be divided into smaller pie shaped segments and used as starter clumps for fresh planting.
Mexican Feather Grass
Mexican feather grass (Nasella tenuissima) is native to south central North America and is a popular ornamental grass in dry, drought-prone regions. This clumping ornamental grass has fine, thin, rolled green leaves that extend 1 to 2 feet from the dense central clump. Golden flowers blossom during the summer and extend 6 to 12 inches above the grass line. Very hardy and easy to care for, Mexican feather grass can grow in shade or sunlight and is highly drought tolerant.
Northern Sea Oats
Northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) ornamental grass is a perennial native to North America. Forming large, dense clumps at the base with green leaves extending 2 to 5 feet in height, northern sea oats is popular in medium to large gardens with direct sunlight and moist, nutrient rich soil. Northern sea oats grass should be pruned down to the clump in the spring before new growth is visible.