Ornamental grasses are available in a wide array of colors, shapes, textures and sizes. The flowers and subsequent seed heads are equally diverse, ranging from “ho-hum” to truly spectacular.
Each grass species has its own unique form- they may form low compact mounds, tall screens, or densely spreading mats. The foliage colors include various shades of green, blue, and red, as well as variegated
varieties having red, white, or yellow foliage banded with ivory or yellow stripes. In the fall, the spring and summer colors change to hues of red, beige, or brown providing a great winter garden accent.
Ornamental grasses can be used as fillers or specimens, border plants or background plantings, as ground covers or screens, or they can be grown as container plants. Their adaptability and subtle beauty make them perfect companions to flowering plants and other woody ornamentals.
Full sun is best for most ornamental grasses. They are adaptable in many situations and can be used as container plants as well. Although not true grasses, the Carex (sedge) genus is commonly grouped with ornamental grasses, and is quite shade tolerant. Some grasses- such as Acorus, Carex, and Juncus- do well in wet areas, while others- such as Andropogon, Calamagrostis, and Cortaderia- are very drought tolerant.