With many common names Stipa grass is used as an ornamental and to some gardeners is one of the best.
Some of the most widely used species the taller growing grass like plant, they work well in a range of landscaping schemes. Try them mass planted, or as a feature in the perennial border. Stipa is often called Feather grass or Oat grass.
Not all species are welcome as garden plants in Australia, S.tenuissima is one that has demonstrated weed potential in a number of areas.
The two best species are Stipa gigantea and Stipa arundicacae. Both widely used and easy to maintain.
- Stipa gigantea is commonly known as the ‘Giant Feather Reed Grass’. It lives up to its name with tall flower spikes that appear in spring and hold well right through until autumn.
- Stipa arundicace (syn Anemanthele lessoniana) is easy care. The new foliage overtakes the old fairly quickly and it rarely needs cutting back. Commonly called ‘New Zealand Wind Grass’ or ‘Pheasants Tail Grass’ and will reach around 1m in height..
Stipa is a drought tolerant grass and requires little maintenance once established. Best grown in full sun in a well drained soil, they are drought tolerant and long lived.
Cutting back or pruning will depend on the variety grown. S. gigantea is usually cut back hard to 20cm or so above ground level in autumn. This ensures a great display the next season. S. arundicace can be treated the same way, however does not need to be cut back at all.
The taller species need to be planted at around 2m apart to really show off their feathery plumes. Smaller growing species half of this distance.
- Stipa Barbata is “Feather grass”,
- Stipa Gigantea is ‘Giant Oat Grass’ and this one will grow to 2m.
Available from the following Nurseries
52 Rodd St Canowindra NSW 2804
An online nursery specialising in drought and frost tolerant perennials and fragrant, edible and herbs.
'Umbango' 750 Humula Rd, Humula NSW 2652
Phone 0408692773 Great Range of Perennial plants available for sale by mail order.
395 Lesters Rd Ascot VIC 3364 - phone (03) 53434303
Specialising in beautiful perennials & bulbs including new releases from Europe & USA. Many hardy, rare & difficult to find ‘drought hardy’ plants, quality vegetable & flower seeds.