Stipa arundinacea - Division?

echolane(SFBayMidPen)February 4, 2005

I've fallen in love with Stipa arundinacea, thanks to a spectacular plant of it I have that is approaching its fourth season in the ground. It's currently taking up quite a lot of space, and I'd also like more of this plant, yet I'm told that (unlike other ornamental grasses) it doesn't divide well. I've divided many, many of my ornamental grasses over the years, and it's so easy to grow the divisions on, so I was quite surprised to hear this advice about this Stipa. I'd hate to kill my beautiful plant trying to divide it (!) so, I would certainly appreciate feedback from anyone with experience dividing this grass.

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Apparently, it's been renamed to Anemanthele lessoniana, and according to Darke, it can be divided in spring.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2005 at 7:20AM
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It divides very easily IME and early spring is a good time to attempt such a task. And yes, it has been reclassified to Anemanthele lessoniana and is perhaps my favorite OG.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2005 at 11:07AM
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I have noticed a couple of volunteer babies near one of my older ones. So it apparently reseeds a little bit? I don't find it to be long-lived though.

It is a very nice grass, number 2 on my list of favorites.

And good job pointing out the new name!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2005 at 3:51PM
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Wonderful news that this plant can be divided! I have been a huge fan of the ornamental grasses for 20-25 years, growing many different kinds over the years, and couldn't imagine any grass that could dethrone Pennesetum alopecuroides from its throne as my #1 favorite grass. But this one has. So I've wanted to replace some of my Pennesetum's with this one, and I was absolutely despairing at the prospect of digging up my huge clumps of Pennesetum and replacing them with miniscule plants from 2" - 4" pots (which is all I've found available). It'll be a couple of years before they make much of a visual impact. So....If I can indeed divide my lovely Anemanthele (ah, the new name is so much harder to remember!), then I can enjoy an immediate visual impact, as the divisions will be generous in size.

Thanks for the good news!


    Bookmark   February 4, 2005 at 5:20PM
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stephju(8 wa--coast)

RE: anemanthele lessoniana...has anyone else had difficulty in wintering over this lovely plant? I live on the coast, doesn't get too cold in the winter, but I have lost my plants each winter except one in five years. Any suggestions?? Guess I will buy yet another one, and bring it in the garage this winter!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2005 at 7:46PM
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I'd consider improper drainage before hardiness issues - in inland Western WA, this grass is tough as nails. As with many plants originating from New Zealand, winter wet is the culprit for failure over winter in our area rather than cold.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 10:11AM
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Just to report that today my "immense" Anemanthele lessoniana has been divided into four large subdivisions. It was an easy job to dig this grass out of the ground (in contrast with many of the deeper rooting grasses such as Miscanthus and Pennesetum), but really really tough to divide it as it has a very thick, almost woody interior. We used a coarse-toothed pruning saw to cut through this part; in contrast, the root area beneath this woody part was very easy to divide.

I did not cut the grass back, so I guess I'll soon see whether it can tolerate this sort of treatment.....

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 9:15PM
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Would this grass work out well in a small area. For example in front of a lattice type fence 10 feet by 4 feet or would it be invasive? Next to a lawn and a deck.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 9:16AM
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It does seed about some, but I find only a few seedlings every year, most of them welcome, but if not, easily recognized and easily pulled.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 11:56AM
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