This cool weather grass is a native of the mountains of southern Europe where it is found in forest openings. In addition to cool temperatures it likes low humidity. It is grown primarily for its showy, long lasting flowers that appear in June on two to three foot upright spikes that are at first yellowish-white but mature to cream and persist into winter. The attractive foliage is medium green to grayish, eight to twelve inches long and ¼ to 3/8 “ wide, and forms a clump. In fall the leaves turn orange-yellow. The plant spreads slowly and forms dense colonies but is not considered invasive. It looks best when grown in masses and is effective used as a background for perennial borders. Give it room to show off its very attractive flowers, which can also be used in both fresh or dried arrangements.
Type: Perennial grass
Bloom: Fluffy panicles 12 inches long and 2-3 inches side emerge yellowish-white in June maturing to cream.
Size: 18-42” H x 36-48” W
Light: Full sun; tolerates some shade but may do poorly and have diminished bloom in too much shade.
Soil: Medium fertility, moist, well drained; tolerates some drought once established
Hardiness: Zones 6-9
Care: Low maintenance
Pests and Diseases: None or significance
Propagation: Division in spring; seed (difficult)
Companion plants: Cone flower, penstemon, hyssop, blanket flower.