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Stipa barbata

bearded feather grass

S. barbata is a perennial grass producing a loose clump of narrow, mid-green leaves. From early summer it produces small clusters of flowers, with seed awns up to 45cm long, silky and silvery at first, then becoming cream, fluffy and curled, like an ostrich feather

Other common names
silver feather grass

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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
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Grey Silver Cream Green
Autumn Cream Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Drought resistance
Yes
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
S Europe

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in light, very well-drained soil in full sun. Can be slow to establish

Propagation

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

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

Cut down to near ground level in early spring

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free

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