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Stipa tenuissima

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© RHS 1997

Characteristics

Plant type

Grass-like

Habit

Tufted

Resilience

Hardiness

H4 (hardy - average winter)

Colour

Flower

Pale Brown and Pale Green in Summer

Foliage

Green in Spring and Summer

Size

Ultimate height

0.5-1 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

Mexican feather grass

Family

Poaceae


Stipa can be evergreen or deciduous, mostly perennial grasses with arching, folded or rolled, linear leaves and narrow panicles of often long-awned spikelets in summer and autumn

S. tenuissima is a deciduous grass to 60cm, forming a compact upright tuft of thread-like leaves, with narrow, arching, feathery flowering panicles in summer

Other common names

  • Texas needle grass

Synonym(s)

  • Nassella tenuissima
  • Nassella tenuissima 'Pony Tails'
  • Stipa tenuifolia misapplied
  • Stipa tenuissima 'Pony Tails'

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun

Aspect

  • South-facing, North-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Exposed or Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow in medium to light, moderately fertile soil in full sun

Soil

  • Well-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Loam, Chalk, Sand or Clay

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in pots in a cold frame in spring or by division in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Architectural, City/Courtyard Gardens, Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds or Low Maintenance


How to care

Pruning

Leaves can be cut back when they die off in late autumn

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free