arundo donax peppermint stick vs versicolor?

kennym_2010December 11, 2012

Hopefully someone can clarify this for me.
1. Is Arundo Donax 'Peppermint stick' and 'Versicolor' the same or different cultivers?
2. I've been wanting it for a yard boarder, but I have read that 'Versicolor' will not stand erect, it flops over, but I see great pictures of it on the 'net! Has anyone in zone 6 had luck with either 'Versicolor' or 'Peppermint Stick' standing up without having to secure them in some fashion?

Thanks for any help on these questions.

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I grow 'Peppermint Stick,' but I've never seen 'Versicolor' in person. Pics on the web make 'Peppermint Stick' appear to be more variegated, with shades of green striped with white, while 'Versicolor' looks like a single shade of green striped with white.

Here in zone 7, in 3/4 sun, 'Peppermint Stick' requires support, particularly if the freshly opened flowers get a good rainfall to weigh them down.

I discovered the plant does not like a full submersion in salt water. My clump was fantastic until Sandy flooded it. It's almost completely knocked down now, and I'll be cutting it back as soon as I get around to it. The few stalks still standing have shriveled foliage and it looks terrible. Time will tell if it comes back next year.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 7:36AM
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Thank you for your input Donn. I hope your grass comes back after Sandy, I believe that salt water can be rough on them.
Apparently the pics on the net that shows them standing so well r either photo shopped or held up in some fashion. I didn't know if the age of the root system was the difference.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 1:09PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

I think versicolor is the same as variegata, and to me it looks similar to peppermint stick. They are both awesome in spring and early summer, but the improvement in peppermint stick is that it doesn't green out when temperatures get high, variegata does. Ive only had peppermint stick for a little over a year, but so far so good. Neither type has needed staking for me, but they are in full sun, windy positions, and by the time seed heads form its usually time for a freeze to kill them.

Take a look at golden chain too, I might even like that one better, but it's a few feet shorter than the others.... Which might be good in some spots, but I like enthusiastic grasses, so bigger is better!

No saltwater floods here (sorry to hear about yours) but last springs' late freezes really knocked my smaller arundos back and even killed one outright. It was annoying to see the huge fat bamboo sprouts turn to mush.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 10:22AM
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