ornamental-grassOWENSBORO, Ky. (8/13/14) — When we hear the word “grass,” we think of our lawns and the fact that we have to mow it every week.

But there are grasses to plant not for a lawn, but in the flower garden or as a landscape feature.

These are ornamental grasses and come in many heights and forms. The Western Kentucky Botanical Garden has an area with eight different types of grasses. Miscanthus sinensis ‘Cosmopolitan’ is one of the best variegated miscanthus. It has a wider leaf than most ornamental grasses and a very wide vertical white striping throughout the leaf. It grows 4-6 feet in height in full sun or part shade and in almost any soil from sandy to clay and doesn’t require good drainage. The puffy flower heads are plumbs that form in late summer and last up till frost. They work well in dried cut flower arrangements.

Another giant of the grass world is Erianthus ravennae, also known as Ravenna Grass. It is considered to be the best substitute for Pampas Grass for northern regions. It has an upright arching form with gray-green leaves that reach a height of about 5 feet. In late summer the flower spikes extend this height to 8-12 feet. Silvery flower panicles have hints of purple and brighten to white in fall. These can also be used in dried flower arrangements.

Schizachyrium scoparium is the native American grass Little Blue-Stem. This is a prairie grass that forms clumps of pale green, slightly hairy foliage. It grows 3 feet tall and spreads 2 feet in a wide range of soil types. The flowers are pale blue-green, rapidly turning to seed as the plant ages to bronze and orange with the first frost.

Ornamental grasses should be cut down to 4 inches in the spring before new growth appears. These grasses come in many different sizes, forms, and color. They can be used as specimen plants, in the border, around ponds, and as ground covers.

The botanical garden showcases a number of these useful grasses.

Barbara Cecil Russ,
Horiculturist for Western Ky. Botanical Garden

Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.
e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Henderson County Police Reports

HENDERSON, Ky. (7/31/15) — The Henderson Police Department released the following reports. Detective Tracy Green… Read More

Henderson County Schools Back to School Events

HENDERSON, Ky. (7/31/15) — The following events are scheduled for Henderson County Schools: A.B. Chandler… Read More

Most Read This Week

July 27, 2015 5947

Death of Central City Man in Dawson Springs Under…

by SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 3797

School System Announces Free Lunch/Breakfast at…

by SurfKY News
July 30, 2015 3377

Webster Man Leads Police on Chase through Parts…

by SurfKY News
July 31, 2015 3317

Miss Hopkins County Fair 2015 Chosen

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 2592

Hanson, Owensboro, Bowling Green Youths Win at…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

July 17, 2015 16339

Muhlenberg Most Wanted - Top 10

by SurfKY News
July 23, 2015 15307

UPDATE: Family Confirms Body of Missing Teen…

by Shawn Freels, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

July 31, 2015 3317

Miss Hopkins County Fair 2015 Chosen

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 2191

24th Annual Miss Teen Hopkins County Fair Pageant…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 2046

Little Miss, Mister Hopkins County Fair Chosen

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 1447

'Diggers' Return to Find More Hatfield-McCoy…

by SurfKY News
July 31, 2015 1273

State Fair President Commends Hopkins County Fair…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 31, 2015 1101

Hopkins District Court Fines Handed Down

by SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 1010

Knight Crowned 2015 Miss Pre-Teen Hopkins County…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 31, 2015 957

House of Onyx's Crystal Gallery Opens in…

by SurfKY News
July 31, 2015 840

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
July 31, 2015 829

Henderson Woman Faces Rape Charges

by SurfKY News