Crabapple's Top Choices in Ornamental Grasses
Ornamental grasses are members of a diverse plant family, Poaceae a.k,a Graminea, the grasses or grains, that have many landscape uses. They add form, texture, contrast, color and year-round interest to beds and borders. They expand the plant palette of landscape design with good-looking, arching foliage that persists throughout winter and adds sound and motion as it rustles and waves in the wind.
Some perennial grasses are evergreen although most are deciduous, and different grasses can be found that are suitable for sun or shade; for dry soils or wet bog gardens. Some ornamental grasses are vigorous spreaders while others stay in neat clumps, and they all tend to be disease-free, low maintenance and carefree. Grasses are used for edging or as ground covers, while taller species make effective screens adding vertical height. Spreading varieties are good for erosion control, stabilizing soil on steep banks or growing attractively on hard-to-maintain areas.
True grasses have leaves that are arranged alternately on the stem, with narrow blades and parallel veins. Stems are hollow with bumps at the leaf nodes. Many ornamental grasses form non-invasive clumps suitable for use as specimen plants. All ornamental grasses flower, producing spikes, racemes or panicles that add additional appeal.
Habits of Growth include:
LandscapExperts Favorite Grasses include:
- Pink Muhly Grass native with clouds of bright pink seed heads in autumn
- Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrica var. rubra)
- Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) planted on the Georgia Tech campus
- Feather Reedgrass Calamagrostis arundinacea 'Karl Foerster'
- Purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum')
- Ribbon grass (Phalaris arundinacea var. picta)
- Silky Thread Grass aka Mexican Feather Grass 9Stipa tenuissima) small and silky
- Miscanthus sinensis or Eulalia Grass – many varieties, variegations and colors
LIMITED USAGE GRASSES Crabapple limits the use of these grasses:
- Foxtail Grass although it is beautiful because it can be lethal to dogs
- Pampas Grass (Cortedena selloana) described as “cotton candy on a stick”, gets huge, spreads by seeds and can be called an invasive exotic.
- Weeping Love Grass (Eragrastis curvula) is used by the GeorgiaDOT for highway erosion control and maintenance but is controversial non-native spreads by seeds
Schedule an appointment today with our Designers. We will devise a plan that works with budget and vision to create a custom landscape that exceeds your expecations!