Native Grasses etc.


Poaceae (formerly Gramineae)

Anthoxanthum hirta = Hierochloe odorata
Sweet Grass
Agropyron subsecundum
Bearded Wheat Grass or Awned Wheat Grass

Medium-sized, thickly-tufted perennial bunch grass, with loosely spreading leaves. The straw-coloured seed-heads are large and impressive, and look a little like those of cultivated wheat.

Bloom time: June, July
Ht: 60 cm - 100 cm (24" - 40")
Full sun.

High germination rate. Sow the seeds in spring, then transplant the young plants into their permanent location by mid to late summer. They will be mature by the second year.
Bouteloua gracilis
Blue Grama Grass

Densely-tufted, short perennial grass with bluish-green leaves that are sometimes curled. Its most impressive feature is its comb-like seed-heads. These are held at right angles to the stem and look like a crowd of cute little false eyelashes standing up above the leaves. Termed ‘warm-season’, it won’t emerge in spring until the soil is at the right temperature.

Bloom time: July
Ht: 15 cm - 40 cm (6" - 16")
Full sun; drought-tolerant.

Sow in May to mature the following summer. Although it is a good grass for dry, poor soils, moisture is needed for proper germination and good root establishment in the first few months of life.
Bromus ciliatus
Fringed Brome

Medium-sized plant that has broad, downward-curving leaves and large, graceful, nodding seed-heads. It is a bunch grass and will not spread.

Bloom time: July
Ht: 60 cm - 90 cm (24" - 36")
Sun or semi-shade. Likes any kind of soil.

Good germination rate. Plant the seeds in late fall or late spring directly into the garden.
Bromus anomalus
Nodding Brome
Elymus canadensis
Canada Wild Rye

The beautiful, curving seed-heads, borne on stout upright stems, look like those of cultivated rye, and are large, green, and bristly. By late summer the seed-heads have changed to a beautiful golden colour and the bristles, or awns, curl so that they all point in different directions. It is a bunch grass so it doesn't spread by rhizomes.

Bloom time: July, August
Ht: 90 cm - 150 cm (36: - 60")
Full sun; drought-tolerant. Grow in any soil, even pure sand or heavy clay.

Sow seeds in early to mid May directly in the garden.
Festuca saximontana
Rocky Mountain Fescue

A densely-tufted grass that stays jade green throughout the spring and early summer, turning shades of rust and red in autumn. Excellent for a rock or border garden. Spiky leaves with multiple short seed heads.

Bloom time: July
Ht: 20cm – 60cm (8” – 24”)
Full sun. Average soil conditions.

Seed direct in late fall, or early spring. Cover seeds with 1 cm of soil.  
Hesperostipa comata = Stipa comata
Needle-and-Thread Grass
Koelaria macrantha
June Grass

One of the first grasses to start growing in the spring; in June the flower spikes are a lovely, soft, silvery-green. Suitable for a rock garden or at the front of the border. A bunch grass, it won't spread, but it does self-seed.

Bloom time: June, July
Ht: 15 cm - 60 cm (6" - 24")
Full sun; average well-drained soil.

Moderately good germination rate. Plant the seeds in early June directly into the garden.
Piptatherum canadense = Oryzopsis canadensis
Canada Rice Grass



Carex aurea
Golden Sedge
Carex bebbii
Bebb's sedge
Cotton Grass



Acorus calamus
Sweet flag
Calla palustris
Water Arum, Wild Calla



Wood Rush