Sunday, September 9, 2012

Diamond Grass

Day 208
The Daily DuBrule 

I have found a new ornamental grass to love. It is called Diamond Grass. Some catalogs call it Calamagrostis brachytricha, others call it Achnatherum brachytricha. I haven't yet figured out which is the most current. It doesn't matter. Diamond grass is a keeper in my world of garden design.

I can see why it is considered a Calamagrostis as it has foliage that emerges early in the spring, unlike Miscanthus, Pennisetum, Panicum, and most others. The foliage is broad, deep green, and nicely upright. This is a mid-sized grass so it works in perennial borders without taking over. When in bloom it reaches 4-5' tall. A mature plant is about 3 feet in diameter, maybe a bit wider over time. Very manageable.

The flowers appear in early September. They are also upright, but unlike Calamagrostis 'Karl Foester', they are silvery plumes, not stiff spikes. As they develop they turn a pretty pink color. I purposely sited mine with the sun setting behind it and put it next to the pretty, pink flowering, variegated rose of Sharon 'Sugar Tip'. Mother Nature added a self sown pink Cleome to the mix just for fun.

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