Stipa arundinacea - Pheasant's Tail Grass
Stipa arundinacea is probably one of the most
planted of all Stipa grasses. The two images below should give
some idea as to why this is such a popular member of the group
of grasses collectively known as Stipa.
It is evergreen, but not the same green throughout the year!
This is an evergreen grass that changes colour like a chameleon
- though not to blend in with its surroundings - but rather - to
compliment and contrast with them.
A drift of Stipa arundinacea around a pond
As a landscape grass, Stipa arundinacea - the Pheasant's Tail
Grass - has so much going for it. It will establish and grow well in any
suitable position; it is versatile enough to be planted formally or
informally; It is not out of place in a modern setting - nor
traditional; It can be found a place in any herbaceous border, shrub
border, or be admired as a stand alone specimen.
The green young foliage of the spring, soon gives way to orange and
pink, which in turn, then develops into the gorgeous brown tints seen
here where planted around the pond.
summer colours of the evergreen foliage.
- Height and spread of Stipa arundinacea.
The foliage and flower spikes soon weight the Stipa down
into an arching mound. A single plant should take up space of around
60cm - 2ft. Maybe more when established. The height is similar,
rarely exceeding 2ft - especially if rained upon!
- Evergreen Stipa. Stipa arundinacea is
an evergreen in spite of the colour changes of its foliage, with no
significant die-down of the foliage over winter - simply a change of
- Dry gardens are well suited to growing all the
Stipa varieties. I can vouch for the fact that the pod planted area
rarely if ever sees a watering can - and it is too far away for a
- Container Plant - Stipa arundinacea
is well suited to growing in containers - high or low. If a high
container, then make sure it is stable for the dense foliage will
act a s asail in windy weather.
- Hardy Plants. I have yet to see any Stipa
arundinacea damaged by winter weather and some have been
planted in very exposed situations.
- Rock Gardens. A great plant for sitting atop a
rock garden. Put it near a crimson Acer for a great show in the
Autumn. the Stipa will have colour long after the acer is de-nuded
of its foliage.
- Trouble Free. Nothing to worry about for pests
or diseases, though the dense cover may make a comfy home for
snails. they do not eat the foliage of this grass.
- Home for Wildlife. I have seen a duck nesting
in a clump of Stipa, and birds often take shelter from the cold - as
well as having a plentiful supply of nest-building material. It will
not be unusual in winter to see birds rummaging about to find a late
meal of some insect hidden away.
- Plant it Forget it! Not that you will be able
to forget it of course. It is a plant that will cheer you up in any
- Easy to propagate from seed or better still
from divisions in early spring - as the growth starts.
Go buy a Stipa arundinacea!
Stipa Main Page |Stipa
tenuissima | Stipa splendens |
Stipa gigantea |
Stipa calamagrostis |