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Ornamental Grass Names

By April Sanders ; Updated September 21, 2017

Ornamental grasses are a terrific choice for adding texture and color to your garden. Many of these grasses thrive in very hot, dry landscapes. Others grow well in dark, shady areas. Ornamental grasses have low care requirements and come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors, making it easy to find the perfect type for your needs.

Blue Fescue (Festuca glauca)

Blue fescue is desired for its silvery, blue-green foliage. This delicate-looking mound of grass is actually very hardy and can grow vigorously if planted in well-draining soil and watered during prolonged hot periods. It is commonly used at the front of borders and in rock gardens due to its proclivity to mimic the round shape of rocks.

Perennial Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)

Fountain grass is a very popular ornamental grass. In the summer, the plant produces feathery flowers that change color from a very light purple to a deep, coppery-purple color when fall arrives. As the cooler weather of autumn sets in, the flowers fade and the foliage takes over the display of color, turning yellow or gold. Fountain grass thrives in full sun and moist soil.

Japanese Silver Grass (Miscanthus sinensis)

Loved for its hardy nature, large size and beautiful fall colors, Japanese silver grass is an excellent choice for a privacy screen or as an accent plant. This ornamental grass can grow up to six feet tall, remaining in a tight clump that will block the view of anything undesirable. The flowers of the plant bloom in August and can be white, pink or red depending on the variety.

Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)

This ornamental grass is known for its unusual winter display of bronze or rust-colored seed heads and gold foliage. Northern Sea Oats prefer at least partial shade and moist but well-draining soil. The plant produces flowers all summer long, from June to September, that are very light green in color.

Annual Quaking Grass (Briza maxima)

Annual Quaking grass is unique because it is an annual ornamental grass, which means it does not return year after year. This makes it an excellent choice for gardners who do not want to mess with having to care for and divide large clumps of ornamental grasses in the spring. The plant is grown from seed and features silvery-white flowers that are easy to dry.