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Stipa tenuissima
  • RHS AGM

Mexican feather grass

S. tenuissima is a deciduous grass to 60cm, forming a compact upright tuft of thread-like leaves, with narrow, arching, feathery flowering panicles in summer

Other common names
Texas needle grass
Synonyms
Stipa tenuissima 'Pony Tails'
Nassella tenuissima 'Pony Tails'
see moreNassella tenuissima
Stipa tenuifolia misapplied

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Brown Green Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing or North–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H4
Botanical details
Family
Poaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Tufted
Genus

Stipa can be evergreen or deciduous, mostly perennial grasses with arching, folded or rolled, linear leaves and narrow panicles of often long-awned spikelets in summer and autumn

Name status

Correct

Plant range
USA to S America

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in medium to light, moderately fertile soil in full sun

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in pots in a cold frame in spring or by division in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Leaves can be cut back when they die off; rather than doing this in late autumn it's best to wait until early spring

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free

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