Tall Grass Types

Tall grasses add ornamental value to gardens with poor soils.
Tall grasses add ornamental value to gardens with poor soils. (Image: native grasses image by Lucy Cherniak from Fotolia.com)

Tall grasses are commonly used in residential and commercial gardens for their ornamental features. Grasses are low maintenance and come in varieties that thrive in poor soil conditions. Each type of grass offers different colors, heights, and blooms. Many tall grasses are successfully used as ground covers, specimen plants, vertical design elements, and as a way to prevent erosion.

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Moor Grass

Moor grass (Molina Caerulea) is light green in color and can reach a height of 7 feet. As it grows, the grass arches from its own weight. The green leaves turn yellow in the fall. This grass prefers growing in the full sunlight and produces yellow or purple flowers. For the best results, moor grass should be planted in moist, acidic soil.

Korean Feather Reed Grass

Korean feather reed grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha) is an ornamental grass that thrives in moist soil and which reaches 3 feet in height. This grass does well when planted in the partial shade. In the spring, it produces feathery flower heads that are taller than the grass itself and are pinkish-gray in color.

Pink Crystals Ruby Grass

Pink crystals ruby grass (Melinus nerviglumis) is an annual grass that reaches 1 to 2 feet in height. This grass is bluish-green and adds ornamental value to residential and commercial landscapes. In the spring, pink crystals ruby grass produces ruby pink flowers that turn white as they mature. To promote healthy growth, plant this grass in a warm climate where it receives full sunlight. While it is blooming, it can be cut to use in floral arrangements.

Little Bluestem

Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) grows 2 to 3 feet high and is available in a many colors, depending upon the variety. This grass features green or bluish-green clumps and can be grown in clay soil. This grass features white seed plumes that are fluffy in texture. In the fall, it turns bright orange or red, offering ornamental value to autumn landscapes. This drought-tolerant grass grows best where it receives light shade.

Silver Grass

Silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis) comes in a wide range of varieties. Common silver grass reaches 5 to 6 feet in height, but some varieties are available that grow just 3 to 4 feet. This grass arches as it grows and is available in many different leaf colors, including silver, white, yellow, and cream. This grass is one of the most commonly used ornamental grasses in the United States and produces small flowers.


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