Hordeum jubatum: beautiful small grass that grows to 50cm (20in) high. It carries silky, greyish panicles in early and mid summer, which develop a reddish or purple tinge at the tips. Fantastic in massed groups, or around taller, more stately plants.
Squirrel-Tail Grasses are the ultimate architectural plant, adding see-through effects, gentle rustling, autumn colour and winter shapes. They also tolerate a range of conditions, from gravel gardens to solid lumpy clay.
Sowing: Sow in Spring, Feb to April Squirrel Tail Grass germinates easily from seed sown in spring. Sow in well drained soil and keep at around 20ºC (68ºF). Germinates in about two wks Once seedlings are large enough to handle, take a small clump of seedlings and put them all in a one-litre pot of gritty compost. They will form a bushy plant and be ready to go into the garden in summer.
Grow in sun and in well drained soil. Sow 6mm (¼in) deep in rows 30cm (12in) apart in well cultivated soil which has been raked to a fine tilth. Germination is occasionally slow, so be patient! Thin out the seedlings to 23cm (9in) apart. Replant the seedlings that have been removed
Aftercare: Feed in spring like ordinary perennials, with a single dressing of a general fertiliser. Even without an annual feed, most grasses will put on a first-rate show. The more nitrogen grasses receive the greener and further they'll grow. This spreading habit is fine in a field, but in a garden they may become too lush and the flower quality may suffer.
Division: Once the plant is established, divide in March to April. It is relatively easy to propagate by division. Do this in spring, not autumn, as some newly divided plants may rot before they've developed a good root system.
Drying: Squirrel Tail Grass can be dried and make interesting focal or secondary flowers in dried arrangements. To dry, gather when the heads have changed colour but before they start to break up, cut the flower at the height of bloom and hang upside down in a cool, dark place to dry. If dried correctly they will hold their colour well.
Plant Uses: Architectural, Cottage/Informal Garden, Drought Resistant, Flower Arranging, Flowers Borders and Beds, Low Maintenance or Mediterranean.
|Average Seed Count||60 Seeds|
|Synonym||Hordeum jubatum subsp. jubatum|
|Common Name||Squirrel-Tail, Foxtail Barley|
|Other Common Names||Other|
|Natural Flower Time||No|
|Foliage||Grey-green with purple tinge|
|Time to Harvest||No|
|Position||Full Sun to partial shade|
|Aspect||All aspects. Exposed or Sheltered|
|Soil||Needs sharp drained soil|
|Time to Sow||No|