Stipa

The species of this widely distributed genus of cool season grasses are evergreen in milder climates. The jointed, bamboo-like flower stalks lend an Asian look to many of the showy varieties. The flowers are stunning in morning and end of the day light, and in the breezes of any hour.

<i>Stipa arundinacea</i>

Like a fountain, the green, bronze and golden narrow blades are upright and arching. Slightly dry soils will intensify the copper tones of this graceful, clumping evergreen Stipa. While grown mostly for its delightful form and color, the subtle inflorescences appear as a fine mist, tinged with small purple and golden seed capsules known as awns.

Blooms June–September.

Size: 2' 0" high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

<i>Stipa gigantea</i>

The first time we saw this show-stopper, we had to ask, “Is it from the tropics, or straight out of America’s bread basket?” In fact a native of Spain, Stipa gigantea boasts 7 ft. tall, jointed stalks that resemble lean bamboo, with airy 10 in. panicles of oatlike flowers that begin as purple-on-green, ripening to pale, metallic gold. The graceful gray-green foliage remains a tidy 2 ft. hummock. This unforgettable display continues all winter, and may bloom as early as February in milder climates. We recommend a gentle breeze and backlighting for full effect. Drought tolerant once established.

Blooms June–November.

Size: 6' 0" – 7' 0" high x 4' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 7.

Hailing from Down Under, Australia’s ‘Pillar of Smoke’ explodes with 6 to 8 in. whorl-branched panicles of silky copper-colored flowers that age to a smoky silver. The amazing floral plumes are held on sturdy, jointed stems amidst towering clumps of bright green foliage.

Undaunted by wind, poor soils and some drought, this strong-growing, cool season evergreen is perfect for southern and western gardens, as well as coastal sites.

Blooms February–September.

Size: 6' 0" – 7' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 9.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Helianthus 'Sheila's Sunshine', Persicaria 'Summer Dance', and Selinum wallichianum

Helianthus ‘Sheila’s Sunshine - P-0461

The sunflower was once an emblem of the Sun God of the Incas. Our sunflowers tolerate a wide range of garden soils, attract bees, and make great cut flowers. Blooms early August – October.

Persicaria ‘Summer Dance’ - P-1312

With foliage that’s close to lime-green, and spiky floral tails that approach the scarlet spectrum of rosy pink, this slow spreading perennial is sure to please. Happiest in semishade with ample moisture. Blooms August–November.

Selinum wallichianum - P-1406

This refined Himalayan beauty happens to be one of our favorite perennial umbellifers. With untold elegance, infinitely divided leaves craft a delicate, lacelike transparency. The compact yet airy green canopy is framed by distinctive, purple-infused branching stems that elevate a charming, late season display of white flattened umbels.

Subduing the riotous array of summertime blooms, it seldom needs staking, and appreciates a well draining moist niche. Blooms June–August.

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