Deschampsia 

(dess-champ' see-ah)

Common name: Hair Grass

Family: Poaceae, Grass

Height x width: 2-3' x 2-3' mounded

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: narrow up to 2' long and ¼" wide, generally rolled inwards, rough midrib and margins

Flowers: large open panicle 12-24" tall, panicle itself 10-18" long and 6-8" wide; individual flowers silver, green or purple often all in same panicle; bloom mid-summer to fall, attractive through fall

Hardiness: zones 4-9 (see notes below)

Soil: most except extremes, tolerate drought

Light: sun or part shade

Pests and Problems: none serious, occasional rusts

Landscape habit, uses: border, rock garden, water's edge, containers, dried flowers, especially against dark background such as evergreen or hedge; perhaps most fine-textured grass

Other interest: native to Eurasia or U.S. depending on species; named for the 18th century French natrualist Louis Deschamps

Other culture: low maintenance, cut back previous year's growth in spring

Propagation: spring division or seeds

Species:

caespitosa (cess-pi-toe' sah)--Tufted Hair Grass, 2-3', bronze to cream panicles, will tolerate part shade if sufficient moisture, does not tolerate heat and humidity of zone 8 and higher; main species of cultivars

flexuosa (flex-uu-o' sah)--Crinkled Hair Grass, 1-2', gold or purplish panicles twisted or "crinkled" later in summer, prefers zone 7 and cooler in East, but will tolerate zones 8-9 of west coast without heat and humidity, good planted with heathers; 'Aurea' has golden foliage in spring
 
 Cultivars: (of caespitosa)

Those marked * are most seen in U.S. commerce.
 
Cultivar height inflorescence
'Bronzeschleier' ('Bronze Veil') 3' bronze-yellow
'Fairy's Joke' 3' cream, small plantlets in panicle, var. vivipara
'Goldgehaenge' ('Gold Shower') 3' golden-yellow
'Goldschleier' ('Gold Veil') 2-3' bright yellow
'Goldstaub'('Gold Dust') 1-2' yellow
'Schottland' ('Scotland') 4-6' cream
'Tardiflora'  3' cream, late
'Tautraeger' ('Dew Carrier') 3' cream, slender

 


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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