Call Us 773-910-1800

PLANT PROFILES: SHRUB-LIKE ORNAMENTAL GRASS

Fantastic in a mass planting or nestled amongst perennials…

…the SHRUB-LIKE ORNAMENTAL GRASS is a curious category that provides unique interest in the winter. While most prefer full sun, there are a few larger-blade varieties that prefer the shade, such as the vivid Japanese forest grass, or the sedge and its many cousins. Similar to FOLIAGE PERENNIALS, grasses are used more for the color and texture of their blades, though a few also boast ornamental seed heads for late summer interest.

Their relatively low height also allows most species to be pulled into the planting layers rather than work as taller anchoring elements, similar to the relationship between LARGE FLOWERING SHRUBS and MID-FLOWERING SHRUBS. Mix SHRUB-LIKE ORNAMENTAL GRASSES amongst perennials to contrast and highlight their flowering forms. Or use in mass plantings beneath a multi-stem ORNAMENTAL TREE to highlight the branching structure while providing textural contrast.

 

LARGE TREE ORNAMENTAL TREE LARGE FLOWERING SHRUB MID-FLOWERING SHRUB LOW-SPREADING SHRUB UPRIGHT EVERGREEN LOW-SPREADING EVERGREEN
FLOWERING PERENNIAL FOLIAGE PERENNIAL UPRIGHT ORNAMENTAL GRASS SHRUB-LIKE ORNAMENTAL GRASS FLOWERING GROUNDCOVER EVERGREEN GROUNDCOVER VINE

 

KEMORA PICKS Autumn Moor Grass, Fountain Grass, Japanese Forest Grass, Prairie Dropseed, Purple Love Grass, Sedge, Sweet Flag Grass, Tufted Hair Grass

SUN Full Sun to Partial Shade
ORNAMENTAL INTERESTS
SHRUB-LIKE ORNAMENTAL GRASSES provide
unique winter interest when blades dry to straw yellow. Most species offer a softer texture in blade and flower than other plant varieties so are great for juxtaposing opposite large leaf species.
DESIGN USE
Since SHRUB-LIKE ORNAMENTAL GRASSES
are more of a “filler” than a “thriller,” use
in geometric rows or masses for a soft sea
of texture. For a more contemporary style,
mix them in with perennials!
ALTERNATIVES
Like the texture of SHRUB-LIKE ORNAMENTAL GRASSES but need height? UPRIGHT ORNAMENTAL GRASSES evoke the same fine texture with more
of a vertical presence.
Autumn Moor Grass Photo Credit: Tony Spencer via Flickr [CC BY-NC 2.0]; Fountain Grass Photo Credit: Lee Wright via Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0];
Prairie Dropseed Photo Credit: Kjeannette via Flickr [
CC BY 2.0].

Plant info found on Google is not always precise as it is an aggregate of information from around the world—so we want to share our observations from years of getting our hands dirty in the Second City. This post is the latest in one of our newest series, PLANT PROFILES, where we explore each plant category as well as the preferred species of Kemora. We love plants which in turn gives us a trained eye for trouble-shooting them. And it is our hope you will come to love them too!

Kemora Landscapes is a full-service design, build, and maintenance company based in Chicago.

Back To Blog


Get Started
Call Us 773-910-1800
Enter Email to Subscribe