Tall Ornamental Grass~ Need input

friesfan1(5b NW-KS)June 7, 2006


I live in zone 5b KS.

Where we have hot windy summers and pretty cold winters.

I have been searching the net for just the right TALL

ornamental grass for my landscape.

What I need is information from people who have had success

with tall grasses for my region.

Any information would be helpful.


Mary z 5 KS

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lynda_ne(z4/5 Nebr.)

I live in Zone 5a (northeast Nebraska) and have successfully grown Ravenna grass. It looks very similar to Pampas grass but is cold hardy. It grows very tall, often reaching 10-12 feet, but doesn't spread out very far, maybe 4-5 feet in diameter. It makes wonderful rustling sounds in the wind, which we have plenty of. Love it.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 2:14PM
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friesfan1(5b NW-KS)

Hi Lynda ne,
I had read about Ravenna grass, but what I saw was good
for zones 6-10. So I was afraid to invest in something
that my not live to see the next season.

Thanks for your thoughts, I will do some futher research
into it.
Mary z 5b KS

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 2:34PM
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You might also look at Miscanthus giganteus. It grows 10-14' tall and is hardy to zone 4. A bit shorter, Sporobolus wrightii, AKA Big Sacaton. Some forms of it reach 10' and it's hardy to at least zone 5. Finally, there's Giant Reed, Arundo donax. If it likes it's location, it can exceed 20' tall. It's listed as zone 6, but forum members grow it very successfully in zone 5.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 2:46PM
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friesfan1(5b NW-KS)

Hi Donn,
I checked out the Gian Reed, Arundo Donax. I think I even
have seen this grass around here. Although it is really
tall, I read it is invasive.

I managed to talk a co-worker out of what looks like
Pampas Grass, but I don't think it is. Alot of people
grow it around here. It gets really tall and has white
plumes in late summer. I would speculate it may get around
10-12 ft high.

zone 5b KS

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 4:38PM
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Mary, that's probably Ravenna. Another name for it is Hardy Pampas Grass. I have a few clumps which I just started from seed this winter sowing season.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 4:43PM
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friesfan1(5b NW-KS)

Then that is probably what I see all over this area.
It seems to do great in this around here.

There is also a small wild grass that I like and had
dug up out in the country. I used it in my past
It is whispy looking and has
very narrow slightly purple seadheads in the summer.
It shimmers when the wind blows. It would be a front
of the boarder plant growing only about 12" tall.

I plan on adding that to what will now become a combo Grass, wildflower garden.

Seems I am not the only one with that idea, as I have seen
the same plant in another garden in town.

Thanks everyone for the help.

z 5b KS

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 7:28PM
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