Ornamental grasses are a real addition to your garden. There are so many beautiful ornamentel grass types to name like the red, yellow, green, striped and dark grasses, but you also have blue, pink and bronze types. Find more general information about ornamental grass in the article 10 questions and answers about ornamental grass.
There are approximately 8,000 different types of ornamental grasses worldwide. It is difficult to make a choice which I will show you in this article. But I was still able to choose a number of special varieties that will look really amazing in your garden.
Blue Ornamental Grass types
One of the most popular ornamental grass types is blue grass.
Festuca Intense blue
This blue grass, also called blue sheep grass, has a deep blue-greyish color. The plant has developed this shade in order to protect itself from the sun. The more sun it gets, the brighter the color becomes. It has a coarser leaf than the regular Festuca Glauca. From May onwards, the flowering spikes of the plant turn blueish-green. After flowering, the spikes turn bronze-yellow in color.
Carex Laxiculmis Bunny Blue
A striking ornamental grass among the Sedge species with its silver-blue leaves. The very hardy plant grows to a height of about 30 centimeters. When you prune the Carex Laxiculmis Bunny Blue back in the spring, you help stimulate the production of new leaves.
Red Ornamental Grass types
Japanese ornamental grass
The Latin name for Japanese ornamental grass or Japanese blood grass is Imperata cylindrica Red Baron. This grass starts to sprout green in the spring, after which it turns into a beautiful red later in the season. The more sun the leaf gets, the redder it will become. The grass is very nice to combine with, for example, a Japanese garden.
The common name for Eragrostis Spectabilis is lovegrass. Beautiful red-purple flowers appear on the plant in August, which continue to bloom until October. They grow up to a height of about 30 centimeters. Pruning in the spring stimulates the plant to produce new shoots.
Uncinea Uncinata Rubra
The red sedge starts to flower black in the months of July, August and September. The ornamental grass has thin red-green leaves. The plant is not very hardy so it is recommended to be covered during moderate or severe frost.
Black/dark ornamental grass
Japanese snake beard
The most famous black grass species is the Ophiopogon planiscapus Niger, also known as the snake’s beard. You can combine this type very nicely around a border with the right foliage plants. The grass grows in August and September with small lilac flowers. After flowering, black berries appear on the plant that remain until winter.
Pennisetum glaucum Purple Baron
This black grass is also known as Ornamental millet. It has leaves that grow to a height of about 60 centimeters. The ornamental grass flowers from July to September with large thick and purple flowering spikes. In the spring, the plant needs some extra nutrition to stimulate flowering. The type is not hardy.
Variegated types of ornamental grass
Miscanthus sinensis Little Zebra
The small variant of the Miscanthus sinensis Zebrinus, which grows from 160 up to 200 centimeters. This type however grows about half the height of it’s smaller variant, around 100 centimeters. It has the same strikingly striped leaf. The Little Zebra flowers from September to November, the plumes remain on the plant throughout the winter.
Evergreen ornamental grass
Carex is actually not a grass, but a sedge. It is closely related to the grass species. Just like with grass, the sedge flowers with panicles. The species are wintergreen.
Carex comans Bronze form
Carex is a type that has a light brown, bronzy color. This ornamental grass grows about 50 centimeters high and flowers in August and September with small flowers in the same color as the leaf. The thin stems give it a playful effect in the border, this can be done solitary or in a small group.
Carex morrowii Ice Dance
A very easy ornamental grass with green leaves and a variegated edge. The plant grows about 50 centimeters high and flowers with yellow spikes in April and May. It is a good hardy type that stays green all year round.
Briza Media is commonly known as Quaking-grass. It has been given this name because of the spikelets that vibrate during the slightest wind. It flowers with striking flat spikes in the months of May and June. The height is about 60 to 70 centimeters.
Types of ornamental grass with plume
Pennisetum alopecuroides Hameln
One of the most famous ornamental grass is the Pennisetum alopecuroides Hameln. It stands out because of its compact growth and beautiful plume-shaped spikes. They hang gracefully turned over and wave in the slightest breeze of wind. The grass dies in the winter.
Pennisetum alopecuroides Little Bunny
The little brother of the pennisetum alopecuroides Hameln. This ornamental grass grows about 30 to 40 centimeters, contrary to the Hameln, which grows up to 70 centimeters. The grass is also know as Fountain Grass.
Miscanthus sinensis Gracillimus
The common name for this large ornamental grass is Chinese silver grass. Beautiful reed can grow up to a height of two meters and blooms in August and September. Like the name reveals already, the leaf of this species is narrow, which waves gracefully in the wind.
Calamagrostis X acutifolia Karl Foerster
A well-known type that can grow up to 1 meter 50 in height. The clump gradually expands in width. The beige-brown spikes appear in early summer, which remain there until winter. During the winter months it has a very decorative silhouette.
Pampas Cortederia Selloana
Pampas grass is the common name for this large ornamental grass. It is also available in a pink version, the Pampas Cortederia Rosea. Very spectacular. The plant is moderately hardy. During a harsh winter, it is wise to fold the leaf and, if necessary, to wrap it with bubble wrap or with jute.
Miscanthus Sinensis Little Silberspinne
‘Kleine Silberspinne’ grows with silver-grey spikes in September. The height of the plant is 140 up to 160 centimeters. The beautiful ornamental grass can be combined well with perennials that bloom during autumn.
Other ornamental grass types
The plumes of this ornamental grass are very fine and soft, they resemble down feathers. Mexican feathergrass is the common name for Stipa tenuissima. It flowers in the months of July and August with fine white plumes. This type can be nicely combined in a perennial border with 3 or 4 other flowering and leafy plants.
This grass is also known as pheasant tail grass. Especially in autumn, this ornamental grass stands out with its popping gold to orange autumn colour. This type grows up to about 100 centimeters tall. The pheasant tail grass flowers with a purple-green pendulous inflorescence and continues to bloom into a misty cloud.