A short lesson in Latin!      And, this is only a partial list!!


Several of these are weeds!  Be careful what you choose!  Those in blue letters generally available in plugs or liners.  See chart at bottom for more varieties and growth habits.

Agropyron repens (L.) Beauv. QUACK GRASS   Try to keep this out of the garden!
Agrostis alba L. REDTOP
Agrostis scabra Willd. ROUGH BENT GRASS
Andropogon gerardii Vitman. BIG BLUESTEM Popular Ornamental
Andropogon scoparius Michx. LITTLE BLUESTEM   Popular Ornamental
Aristida basiramea Engelm. FORKED TRIPLE-AWNED GRASS
Aristida tuberculosa Nutt. SEA-BEACH TRIPLE-AWNED GRASS
Avena sativa L. OATS
Bouteloua curtipendula (Michx.) Torr. SIDE-OATS GRAMA
Bouteloua hirsuta Lag. HAIRY GRAMA   you could make a joke here….
Brachyelytrum erectum (Schreb.) Beauv. BEARDED SHORT-HUSK
Bromus ciliatus L. FRINGED BROME GRASS
Bromus inermis Leyss. HUNGARIAN BROME GRASS
Bromus kalmii A. Gray. KALM’S CHESS
Bromus tectorum L. DOWNY BROME GRASS
Calamagrostis canadensis (Michx.) Nutt. BLUE-JOINT GRASS
Calamagrostis inexpansa A. Gray. BOG REED GRASS
Calamovilfa longifolia (Hooker) Scribn. LONG-LEAVED REED GRASS
Cenchrus longispinus (Hackel) Fernald. SANDBUR OUCH!!
Cinna latifolia (Trin.) Griseb. SLENDER WOOD REED GRASS
Danthonia spicata (L.) Beauv. COMMON WILD OAT GRASS
Digitaria ischaemum (Schreb.) Muhl. SMALL CRAB GRASS   Try to keep this out of the lawn!
Echinochloa pungens (Poir.) Rydb. BRISTLEY BARNYARD GRASS
Elymus canadensis L. NODDING WILD RYE
Eragrostis megastachya (Koeler) . HAIR LOVE GRASS Popular Ornamental
Eragrostis pectinacea (Michx.) Nees.
Eragrostis spectabilis (Pursh) Steud. PURPLE LOVE GRASS Popular Ornamental
Festuca octoflora Walt. SLENDER FESCUE GRASS
Festuca ovina L. SHEEP’S FESCUE GRASS Popular Ornamental in the blue shades
Festuca rubra L. RED FESCUE GRASS
Festuca saximontana Rydb. ROCKY MOUNTAIN FESCUE GRASS
Glyceria canadensis (Michx.) Trin. RATTLESNAKE GRASS   Doesn’t bite.
Glyceria grandis S. Wats. REED MEADOW GRASS
Glyceria striata (Lam.) Hitchc. NERVED MANNA GRASS
Hierochloe odorata (L.) Wahlenb HOLY GRASS
Hordeum jubatum L. SQUIRREL-TAIL GRASS
Hordeum vulgare L. BARLEY
Koeleria cristata (L.) Pers. CRESTED HAIR GRASS Popular Ornamental
Leersia oryzoides (L.) Swartz. RICE CUT GRASS
Lolium multiflorum Lam. ITALIAN RYE GRASS
Muhlenbergia glomerata (Willd.) Trin. SWAMP SATIN GRASS
Muhlenbergia glomerata (Willd.) Trin. var. cinnoides (Link) F. J. Herm. INTERRUPTED SWAMP SATIN GRASS
Muhlenbergia mexicana (L.) Trin. MEXICAN SATIN GRASS
Muhlenbergia racemosa (Michx.) B. S. P. WILD TIMOTHY
Muhlenbergia sylvatica Torr. WOODLAND SATIN GRASS
Oryzopsis asperifolia Michx. ROUGH-LEAVED MOUNTAIN-RICE
Oryzopsis racemosa (J. E. Smith) Ricker. BLACK-FRUITED MOUNTAIN-RICE
Panicum boreale Nash. NORTHERN PANIC GRASS
Panicum capillare L. WITCH GRASS
Panicum lanuginosum Ell. var. fasciculatum (Torr.) Fernald. HAIRY PANIC GRASS
Panicum oligosanthes Schultes. var. Scribnerianum (Nash) Fernald. SCRIBNER’S PANIC GRASS
Panicum perlongum Nash. LONG-STALKED PANIC GRASS
Panicum praecocious Hitchc. & Chase. EARLY-BRANCHING PANIC GRASS
Panicum vilosissimum Nash. var. pseudopubescens (Nash) Fernald. APPRESSED WHITE-HAlRED PANIC GRASS
Panicum virgatum L. SWITCH GRASS
Panicum xanthophysum A. Gray. SLENDER PANIC GRASS
Paspalum stramineum Nash. STRAW-COLORED PASPALUM
Phalaris arundinacea L. REED CANARY GRASS Popular Ornamental
Phleum pratense L. TIMOTHY
Phragmites communis Trin. var. Berlandieri (Fournier) Fernald. COMMON REED GRASS
Poa compressa L. CANADA BLUE GRASS
Poa palustris L. FOWL MEADOW GRASS
Poa pratensis L. var. angustifolia (L.) Sm. LAWN BLUE GRASS
Schizachne purpurascens (Torr.) Swallen. FALSE MELIC GRASS
Secal cereale L. RYE
Setaria lutescens (Weigel) F. T. Hubb. YELLOW PIGEON GRASS
Setaria viridis (L.) Beauv. GREEN FOXTAIL   Weed!
Sorghastrum nutans (L.) INDIAN GRASS Popular Ornamental
Spartina pectinata Link. PRAIRIE CORD GRASS
Sphenopholis intermedia (Rydb.) Rydb. SLENDER WEDGE GRASS
Sporobolus cryptandrus (Torr.) A. Gray. SAND DROP-SEED
Sporobolus heterolepis A. Gray. NORTHERN DROP-SEED
Stipa spartea Trin. PORCUPINE GRASS
Zizania aquatica L. var. angustifolia Hitchc. NARROW-LEAVED WILD RICE

Some Ornamental Grass Growth Habits

By no means a complete list of all ornamental grasses!  Varieties in bold generally available

Name Foliage Foliage Flower Flower Exposure Moisture Habit of
Height Color Height Color Growth
Blue Fescue; Festuca ovina 1′ Blue 1 1/2′ Buff Sun Moderate Clump forming
Blue Lyme Grass; Elymus glaucus 3′ Blue-green 4 1/2 Sun Moderate
Blue Oat Grass; Helictotrichon sempervirens 2′ Blue, Blue-green 4′ Buff Full Sun Well Drained
Eulalia Grass; Miscanthus sacchariflorus 4-6′ 5-7′

White mid-summer in to winter

Sun to 1/2 day Wet to moderate Highly rhizomatic 6-12’annual spread
Feather Reed Grass; Calamagrostis arundinacea brachyticha 3′ Green, Green-yellow 4′ Green to buff Sun Moderate to wet but restricted Rhizomatic
Giant Mischanthus; Mischanthus floridulus 10′ Deep green 11-12′ White turning buff Full Sun Dry to wet Large Clump
Maiden Grass; Miscanthus sinensis “Gracillimus” 6′ Medium green white mid 8′ Burgundy-(Buff in Winter) Full Sun/Half Sun Moderate to Wet Clump Mass
Morning Light Grass; Miscanthus sinensis “Morning Light” 3-4′ Green w/3 white stripes 4-5′
Northern Sea Oats; Chasmanthium latifolium 3 1/2′ Medium green 4-4 1/2′ Green turning buff Tolerates Shade Dry to moderate Self Seeds
Porcupine Grass; Miscanthus sinensis “Stricta” 6′ 7′
Ribbon Grass; Phalaris arundinacea picta 3′ Green and white 4′ Sun/Shade Moist Rhizomatic-can be invasive
Showy Wood Rush; Luzula nivea 2′ White 1′ Green Shade Moist Slow rhizomatic
Silver Grass; Miscanthus sinensis “Variegatus” 5′ Green and white 6′
Tufted Hair Grass; caespitosa 2′ Medium green 3 1/2 Yellow-white Full Sun to 1/2 day Clump semi-evergreen
Zebra Grass, Miscenthus sinensis “Zebrinus” 7′ Green w/yellow bands 8′ ” (Same as above)