Ornamental grasses are very effective plants in the landscape. Grasses in general are full sun plants that are well adapted to low maintenance landscapes. Grasses are drought tolerant, provide mass impact and provide multiple seasonal interest. Grasses are also deer resistant landscape plants. They vary in height from 6” to 15’. Ornamental grasses need to be cut back in early spring, preferably March, as close to the ground as possible. This is also a good time to divide any clumps that have outgrown their space. Blooming can occur on some varieties as early as June. There are more than a hundred varieties of ornamental grasses throughout the Zoo. Visiting the Garden each season provides a different view.. During peak flowering season, late fall, they are at their most luxuriant and beautiful. Flower heads in hues of gold, rust and blonde flow gracefully in fall breezes. View more ornamental grasses that will do well in your area!


Zoo’s Best Picks Ornamental Grasses

  • Hameln Fountain Grass – Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Hameln’

    Prairie Dropseed – Sporobolus heterolepis

  • Karl Foerster Reed Grass – Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’

    Adagio Silver Grass – Miscanthus sinensis ‘Adagio’

    Morning Light Grass – Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’

    Yaku Jima Silver Grass – Miscanthus sinensis ‘Yaku Jima’

    Japanese Fountain Grass – Pennisetum alopecuroides

    Shenandoah Switch Grass – Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’

  • Maiden Grass – Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’

    Variegated Japanese Silver Grass – M. ‘Variegatus’

    Porcupine Grass – M. ‘Strictus’

    Cabaret Silver Grass – M. var. condensatus ‘Cabaret’

    Cloud Nine Switch Grass – Panicum virgatum ‘Cloud Nine’

    Dallas Blues Switch Grass – Panicum virgatum ‘Dallas Blues’

    Northwind Switch Grass – Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’

  • Giant Reed Grass – Arundo donax

    Giant Silver Grass – Miscanthus ‘Giganteus’

    Ravenna Grass – Saccharum (Erianthus) ravennae

  • Lilyturf – Liriope spicata

    Learn more about the Best Ornamental Grasses (PDF) of the Zoo.