Stipa tenuissima (Nasella) - MEXICAN FEATHER GRASS

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Very drought tolerant and probably one of the finest- textured grasses. Cool season grass (with active growth in cooler part of the season - spring).

2' tall x 1.5' wide clumps of fresh green leaves, topped by "hairs" of flowers and seeds from June/July to August. Ornamental the year round, even without the seedheads (that move with little breeze).

Full sun, half sun up to half shade, medium-dry to dry soils, preferably drained (rocky, gritty, sandy). Prefers moderately fertile soil or leaner soils (highly amended and heavily mulched soil will make it fast growing and short-lived).

Native grass to New Mexico, western Texas, where it grows on rocky slopes or flats, open woods, always on well drained soils. The drained soil is the key to successful growing or let's say overwintering, because it is (usually) the excessive winter moisture that makes the crow rot. Heavy bark mulch that holds lot of water, can do the same. So there is simple trick - put fine gravel/coarse sand around the plant or at least around the crown (where the leaves and roots meet).

Hardy in zones 6 to 10 (some sources mention 7-10, but our experience is that the better drainage, the hardier this plant get up to zone 5). But feather grass is reliably seeding around, filling the gaps in planting, and can be grown as annual that will selfseed.

Very drought tolerant and deer and rabbit resistant plant. Attracts pollinators and provides nesting material for birds.

Other common names include Pony Tails, Silky Thread Grass, Texas Tussocks and many others, other commonly used scientific name is Nassela tenuissima.

For flower sunny and drier flower beds, rock gardens, roof gardens, xeriscape. Can be used as annual in big containers, mixed with annuals and perennials.

Good companions are shorter to medium-tall drought tolerant perennials like Agastache , Calamintha nepeta, Calamintha, Coreopsis, Echinacea (especially narrow-leaved ones like E. paradoxa, E. angustifolia, E. tennesseensis, E. pallida, etc), Euphorbia (corollata, myrsinites, martinii), Erigeron pulchellus, Eryngium, Gaura, Gaillardia, Geranium (cinereum, renardii, sanquineum), Iris x barbata (I. x germanica), Nepeta, Penstemon, Phemeranthus, Pycnanthemum,  Ratibida 'Red Midget', Ruellia humilis, Rudbeckia,  Salvia nemorosa, Stachys byzantina, Talinum paniculatum Teucrium and many others.

Pot size : square 3.5" x 4" perennial pot

Picture copyright : US Perennials nursery