Grasses

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Arundo donax 'Macrophylla'

Arundo donax 'Macrophylla'

Giant reed. A truly gigantic thing, forming big clumps of blue-green towering foliage to 3m+ high. This is the wider leaved form, good for even more exotic effect, with leaves as wide as a good belt, with long tapering tips. Looks great as a backdrop, or even as a frontdrop if you like that sort of thing. Any ordinary soil in full sun.

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Briza media 'Golden Bee'

A slightly more compact form of the native perennial Quaking grass with particularly bright, soft yellow tinged flower heads. The distinctive and highly attractive dangling flowers are seen in summer and fade beige as they go over. The little flowers bob around in the breeze on multiply-branched wiry stalks. Height to 50cm from a tight clump. Sun or part shade.

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Briza media 'Limouzi'

A form of our native perennial Quaking Grass with blue-green leaves and distinctive and highly attractive dangling flowers tinted red-purple in summer, fading beige. The little flowers bob around in the breeze on multiply-branched wiry stalks. Height to 60cm from a tight clump. Sun or part shade.

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Calamagrostis epigejos 'Hortorum'

A tough grass for sun or shade, moist or dry soils, forming broad clumps of upright stems to 1.5m high, topped by feathery flower heads that turn to straw colour over the green foliage. This species is one of the parents of the well known hybrid C. x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster.

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Carex grayi

This is a real departure from the 'norm'. A sedge from Eastern North America with splendidly odd, mace-like, spiky seed heads in summer, as bright green as the rest of the plant. These are readily used in flower arrangements either fresh or dry. Makes a clump of semi-evergreen foliage to about 70cm. Suitable for moist or wet soils in sun or semi-shade.

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Carex plantaginea

The Broad-leaved sedge from Eastern N. America is native to moist spots in deciduous woods and makes bold clumps with leaves to 3cm across. Foliage emerges bright green and is clearly linear-veined in a corrugated fashion. An evergreen for at least semi-shade and soil that doesn't become dry. An excellent contrast to ferns.

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Chionochloa conspicua

The Plumed Tussock Grass from New Zealand makes a robust, ornamental specimen to 1.5m high. The flat leaves are green with a central orange stripe. Graceful, semi-pendent, loose inflorescences are borne in summer. Sun, not too bone dry.

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Chionochloa flavicans (new)

Often confused with the slightly inferior C. flavescens, this evergreen species from New Zealand is slightly smaller. Forming a graceful tussock of vivid green foliage with arching flower stalks ending in nodding inflorescences above the foliage, the remains of which last well through winter. Suited to a wide range of soil types and drought tolerant. Height 90cm.

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Chionochloa rubra

The 'Red tussock grass' of New Zealand. Bold clumps of thin foliage, mainly soft red-brown with a hint of purple, turning more orangey in winter. A striking grass for full sun and well drained soil.

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Chrysopogon gryllus

Chrysopogon gryllus

Large open heads of gold/purple flowers in summer make a cloud of subtle beauty across the grasslands of E. Europe. A tussock forming grass with hairy leaves in two ranks. Height 1.3m. Sun, hardy.

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Deschampsia cespitosa 'Goldtau'

Meaning 'gold dew', this German selection of Hair grass has particularly fine textured, translucent, cloud-like inflorescences, opening yellow-green in early summer and luminous if side or backlit. One of the shorter cultivars reaching up to 60cm in flower. Naturally clump forming, this flowers best in full sun.

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Deschampsia cespitosa 'Schottland''

Originally from Scotland, this German cultivar is fairly typical of the species with dark green foliage and fine textured, translucent, cloud-like inflorescences opening light green in early summer. reaching up to 1m in flower. Naturally clump forming, this flowers best in full sun.

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Eragrostis curvula 'Totnes Burgundy'

Eragrostis curvula 'Totnes Burgundy'

Long, delicate, arching panicles of grey flowers in summer. Very fine leaves, wine-red from midway in summer. Height 90cm. Sun. A lovely new form raised by my friends the Suttons in Devon.

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Eragrostis curvula SH 10

Eragrostis curvula SH 10

A very good form of African Love Grass, in fact possibly a different species. Lovely delicate, arching, very diffuse panicles of tiny flowers in summer, olive-green-grey in bud and a mist of beige in flower. Height 1m. Sun. One of the finest, airiest grasses. A wonderful contrast to bold form.

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Hakonechloa macra

Hakonechloa macra

Exceptionally handsome, rich green arching foliage forms rounded mounds 60cm high, composed of elegantly long-tapering blades. Sun or part shade, not too dry. A personal favourite.

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Hakonechloa macra 'Albovariegata' (new)

Heavily striped white and green arching foliage forms rounded mounds 60cm high, composed of elegantly long-tapering blades. Sun or part shade, not too dry. Deciduous.

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Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'

Low clumps of arching, brilliantly yellow-striped leaves. Deciduous. Height 30cm. Sun or part shade, not too dry.

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Lamprothyrsus hieronymi RCB RA K2-2

Elegant pampas grass relative from South America, only 1m tall and hugely more refined. Light, silvery flower heads arch outward in summer. Drought tolerant. For a sunny site.

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Miscanthus nepalensis Hardy form

Miscanthus nepalensis Hardy form

A distinct species with truly LOVELY silky gold tinted flower heads and fluffy golden seed heads, unlike any other Miscanthus. The flowers are held on stems well clear of the foliage and the seed heads last through until spring. Height approx 1.5m. Some forms are not so hardy, but this one has come through the worst cold of the 2009 and 2010 winters with no problems.

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Miscanthus sinensis 'China'

Miscanthus sinensis 'China'

Bold clump-forming grass. Large upright plumes of richly red-tinted flowers in late summer. Height 150cm. Sun or part shade.

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