Vines, Creepers, Perennials, Grass and Ferns: Grasses

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Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Overdam'

Variegated Feather Reed Grass, Overdam is more compact than Karl Foerster with variegated leaves. The creamy variegation, reddish-pink flower plumes (June-July) and upright form make for a great vertical accent.

Carex buchananii

Leatherleaf Sedge creates an excellent colour contrast for smaller evergreens with its tufted mound of arching, leathery coppery-brown hair-like foliage. The tips will fade to a flax-colour. May be slow to establish. Feels at home near a water feature but tolerates drier conditions. Note: sedges are not true grasses

Carex densa

Dense Sedge is a native clumping sedge with flat leaf blades showing a prominent folded center vein. It tolerates seasonal flooding and is found in wetlands and riparian areas, moist meadows etc. Brown florets and nut-like fruits on short, tight panicles appear in summer.

Carex 'Evergold'

Evergold Japanese Sedge has beautiful variegated foliage, creamy-gold centers with dark green edges, cascading in a compact evergreen mound . Brownish flowers in spring. Evergold Japanese Sedge is a cool season grass putting on most of its growth in spring and fall, not much in the heat of summer. Can be cut back in very early spring, leaving 1/3 of height. Note: Evergold appears to be known by a variety of names C. oshimensis 'Evergold', C. hachioensis 'Evergold' or C. morrowii 'Aureo-variegata'.

Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'

Foerster's Feather Reed Grass is valued for its upright habit and inflorescences and the fact that the seed heads remain attractive well into winter. The slender wands of white flowers appear in June, fade to rose before turning into tan-coloured seed heads gracefully moving in the wind. The straw coloured leaves and flowers remain through winter. Use as a specimen or in a grouping; suitable for flower arrangements. Heat-tolerant

Carex morrowii 'Goldband'

Goldband is an evergreen sedge with beautiful creamy-white leaf margins. On close inspection a narrow golden band can be seen in the center of the leaf! It forms a clump of stiff, arching variegated leaves with somewhat modest brownish inflorescences (flowers) in late spring. Great woodland addition.

Carex morrowii 'Ice Dance'

Ice Dance Japanese Sedge has slightly twisting, dark green leaf blades with distinct, narrow white margins. Will spread over time to create a ground cover.

Carex morrowii 'Silver Sceptre'

A clumped Japanese sedge with long narrow leaves, displaying a wide margin of white colouring along the edges of the leaves. Thrives in shaded areas and is able to adapt to a wide variety of soils. Grows slowly however is drought tolerant when settled.

Carex muskingumensis

Palm Sedge forms a graceful arching upright clump of narrow, deep green leaves. Lateral leaves radiating from its central stem create an exotic look, almost like a palm tree or papyrus. Performs best in a moist location but will tolerate even dry sites. Can be used for erosion control by cutting back the foliage several times during growing season forcing the growth of lateral shoots and thus encouraging spreading. Foliage used in floral arranging.

Deschampsia caespitosa 'Bronze Veil'

Bronze Veil Tufted Hair Grass (aka D. caespitosa 'Bronzeschleier') has dense tufts of narrow dark green foliage bearing tall, arching, featherey, silvery green panicles with bronze spikelets (flowers) which form open, bronze-coloured seed heads. Attractive in woodland setting, background grouping, and may be used as cut flowers. Blooms May-August. Sun but fairly shade-tolerant. Semi-evergreen.

Festuca ovina glauca 'Elijah Blue'

Elijah Blue Fescue is appreciated for its silvery-blue foliage on low tufted, porcupine-like clumps. As a cool season grass it looks its best in early spring and early summer. This cultivar holds its colour well throughout the season and looks great in the fall as well. Ideal as edging, groundcover, or in containers. A grass-like evergreen plant: can be cut back to 10cm from the ground in early spring; should only be divided in spring once every 2/3 years, or be replaced as centers tend to die out in 2-3 years. Very adaptable but intolerant of wet soils.

Festuca ovina glauca 'Sea Urchin'

Sea Urchin is more compact and has a brighter steel blue colour than Elijah Blue. Very adaptable but intolerant of wet soils.

Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold'

Hakone or Japanese Forest Grass has a stunning chartreuse to golden colour (colour more chartreuse in deeper shade), making it a fantastic grass for the shade garden. It makes small mounds of delicately arching, bamboo-like foliage which is slow to spread. Tolerates morning sun and is best with morning sun and afternoon shade.

Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'

Aureola Hakone or Japanese Forest Grass is a good mounding grass with delicate, arching golden-yellow blades with green stripes, which can be tinted with pink and red in cool weather. The bamboo-like leaves move in the slightest breeze and provide a great accent near a pond or in a Japanese garden. A stunning grass for a shady location!

Hakonechloa macra 'Beni-kaze'

Hakone or Japanese Forest Grass is a new selection of Hakone or Japanese Forest Grass from Japan, "Beni-kazi" meaning "red wind". Beni-kaze forms a mound of arching green grass which takes on striking red tones in fall.

Helictotrichon sempervirens

Blue Oat Grass is a clumping, mound-forming grass with metallic intense blue evergreen foliage. Tan, oat-like flowers on arching stems appear from May till July. A great border accent or planted en masse. Rake out old leaves.

Imperata cylindrica 'Red Baron'

Japanese Bloodgrass' new grass blades emerge green at the base and red at the tips. Eventually the whole leaf turns blood red. Very effective with the afternoon sun back lighting this spectacular grass. Avoid hot and dry locations or wet and heavy soils.

Juncus effusus

Common or Soft Rush has cylindrical, upright stems grown in spreading (rhizomes) clumps and is native to most parts of the world and prefers moist locations in full sun. Will tolerates light shade and standing water. Rush is used for the production of woven mats in Japan and in olde England rush would be used as a "candle" (iner pith of the stems would be filled with wax, and lit).

Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus'

The most popular Maiden Grass with fine green foliage forming an attractive rounded mound with copper-red flowers from September onwards. Mature silver plumes and tan foliage add winter interest. Prune just before new shoots appear in late winter. Best in full sun.

Miscanthus sinensis 'Huron Sunrise'

Huron Sunrise, an outstanding selection from Ontario, is the most profusely blooming Maiden Grass to date. From late summer into fall large burgundy plumes appear from the graceful arching clump of green blades with a silver midrib. Large, straw-coloured plumes provide great winter interest. Best in full sun.

Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light'

Silver Variegated Maiden Grass flowers late with bronzy-red plumes. The leaves are very narrow, upright arching and edged white giving it an airy silvery appearance. Best in full sun

Miscanthus sinensis 'Purpurascens'

Flame Grass is an early blooming Miscanthus (August). Rosy-pink flowers turn into silvery seed heads on showy plumes lasting through the winter while the green grassy leaves turn an attractive bronze to flame orange in fall. Straw winter colouring makes it a grass with year round interest. Great as a specimen or as background /screen! Best in full sun.

Miscanthus sinensis 'Yaku Jima'

Yaku Jima Dwarf Maiden Grass looks like a dwarf form of "gracillimus" with its long, arching narrow silvery green foliage. The reddish plumes which appear in late summer (September) become silvery to straw coloured in fall and retain interest through the winter. Best in full sun.

Ophiopogon japonicus 'Green'

The Green cultivar of the Ophiopogon is commonly called Mondo Grass. This grass grows in verdent green stemless clumps with grass like foliage making a beautiful groundcover or low border. During the summer small spikes of lilac appear bringing a splash of colour.

Ophiopogon nigrescens

Black Mondo Grass or Black Lilyturf (closely related to Liriope) has dense tufts of grass-like evergreen leaves. Racemes of bell-shaped flowers that seem pink but appear to be creamy white with purplish markings on the outside are followed by blue black shiny berries. Great for edging or group with plants with yellow foliage.

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln'

Dwarf Fountain Grass' compact growth habit and finely textured rich green foliage makes Hameln one of the most popular Pennisetum cultivars. Excellent in containers. Usually grown for the fluffy, coppery-tan coloured bottlebrush plumes appearing from summer to fall.

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Little Bunny'

Miniature Fountain Grass. Little Bunny is a miniature form ideal in the smaller garden and for edging or rock gardens. Forms a neat little mound with small, white flower plumes. Full sun to light shade.

Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal'

Blue Switch Grass is a great specimen grass with its upright metallic blue grass blades and powder blue with a pink hue panicles. Drought and wet tolerant once established

Scirpus lacustris

The Bulrush is a perennial that grows to about 2.5 metres, it has long thin green stems. The bulrush flowers from August to September, with seed ripening during the same period.

Scirpus maritimus

The Prairie bulrush is a perennial with stems with a triangular cross section, long flat grass like leaves sprout from the base and along the stems of the plant. The stems shift from a light green to a reddish-purple where they attach to the base of the plant.

Scirpus microcarpus

The Small Fruit Bulrush is a perennial with stems that have a triangular cross section, long flat grass like leaves sprout from the base and along the stems of the plant. The stems shift from a light green to a reddish purple where they attach to the base of the plant.

Stipa tenuissima

Mexican Feather Grass is a lovely grass that gives an airy look to the garden with its fine textured leaves and feathery green/pale yellow, maturing golden plumes waving in the slightest breeze. Flowers in June-August. Beautiful planted in masses and striking planted in borders, rock gardens or container. Drought tolerant once established.