Molinia 

(mo-lin' ee-ah)

Common name: Moor Grass

Family: Poaceae, Grass

Height x width: 2-8' x 1-2' varying with cultivar as noted

Growth rate: slow to moderate

Foliage: narrow 12-18" long, upright to slightly arching from basal clump, flower scapes held much higher than foliage

Flowers: generally loose panicle 5-10" long; yellow, green or purple; provides airy late season interest on taller cultivars (photo courtesy elke freese, commons.wikimedia.org)

Hardiness: zones 4-9

Soil: moist, fertile, acidic

Light: sun

Pests and Problems: none serious except from improper soil conditions

Landscape habit, uses: fine texture, massed, rock gardens

Other interest: native to Eurasia; genus named for 18th century Chilean writer J.I. Molina

Other culture: one of few grasses to shed previous year's foliage so no need to cut back

Propagation: spring division, from seed is slow

Species:

caerulea (sa-ruu' lee-ah)--Purple Moor Grass, only species of commerce and cultivars, many cultivars are in subspecies (noted as subsp., not in italics) arundinacea and may be seen as littorialis, M. arudinacea, M. arundinacea var. altissima.

(example: written as Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea 'Transparent')  

Cultivars: (of caerulea)

Those marked * are the most seen in U.S. commerce.
 
Cultivar subspecies height characteristics
'Bergfreund' ('Friend of the Mountain') arundinacea 4-5'  
'Dauerstrahl' ('Faithful Ray')   1-3' rounded flowering tufts
'Fontaene' ('Fountain') arundinacea 5-6' arching, golden in fall
'Heidebraut' ('Bride of the Heath')   2-3' upright
'Moorflamme' ('Moor Flame')   1-2'  
'Moorhexe' ('Moor Witch')   1-2'  
*'Skyracer' arundinacea 8-9' upright, showy
'Staefa' arundinacea 4-5' fine texture, multiple flower stalks
'Strahlenquelle' ('Source of Ray')   2-3' radiating flowers
'Transparent' arundinacea 6-7' arching, more upright than 'Fontaene'
*'Variegata'   1-2' yellow-white stripes
'Windspiel' ('Wind Game') arundinacea 6-7' upright, slender habit


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

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