Deschampsia cespitosa is a lovely variety of ornamental grass. A clump growing, semi evergreen grass with fine textured dark green leaves and thin stems topped with sprays of airy delicate flowers.
The seed heads emerge from dark green stems in an explosion of blooms, eventually changing to bronze. Left on the stems, the flower heads will dry, adding texture and colour to the winter garden and deliver a knock-out punch to cut-flower arrangements.
Deschampsia cespitosa is perfect for many situations, adding dimension, texture, and a breezy quality to the garden. The flower stems growing to a height of 80 to 120cm (32 to 48in), a drift will add shimmering height to naturalistic style plantings, while single plants are an eye catching addition to the mixed border.
They look beautiful when backlit by the sun or planted with a dark or solid background, where its delicate, hazy quality is put to best effect
Fully frost hardy Deschampsia is able to withstand temperature down to minus 15ºC (5ºF). The plants are tolerant of a range of moisture as long as it is not waterlogged. They can be planted by the waterside, in a woodland setting, or as an accent in the perennial bed.
Grow in reasonably fertile, moisture retentive but well drained soil in sun or partial shade. The plants performs best and flowers most in cooler climates. In warmer climates, it needs semi-shade and moist conditions otherwise flower production may be reduced.
Sowing: Sow indoors in late winter to early spring or sow in autumn.
Seeds germinate best at temperatures of around 20ºC (68ºF), sow in spring or at other times of year keep at around 20ºC (68ºF). Sow the seeds finely in trays containing well drained soil, or sow in cells, one large seed per cell. Cover the seeds with a very fine layer of sieved soil. Seeds germinate in about two to four weeks but can occasionally be slower and irregular. Keep in cooler conditions after germination occurs.
Germination to transplant usually takes around four to six weeks. Once the seedlings are large enough to handle, take a small clump and put them all in a one-litre pot containing a gritty compost. Plants in containers should be looked after carefully and not allowed to stand in full drip trays. They will form a bushy plant and be ready to go into the garden in summer. After hardening off, plant out after all risk of frost. Grow in sun and in well drained soil.
Suitable for planting as a specimen or in groups, three plants can be planted together in the garden, or up to five plants per square metre for planting en masse.
Fully frost hardy Deschampsia is able to withstand temperature down to minus15ºC (5ºF). The plants are tolerant of a range of moisture as long as it is not waterlogged.
Grow in reasonably fertile, moisture retentive but well drained soil in sun or partial shade. It performs best and flowers most in cooler climates. In warmer climates, it needs semi-shade and moist conditions otherwise flower production may be reduced.
Deschampsia cespitosa is grown for it’s flower plumes, which should be attractive into the winter. February is a good time to cut the plants back. Cut them close to the ground to a height of around 8cm (3in).
The flower heads can be dried and make interesting focal or secondary flowers in dried arrangements. To dry, cut the flower at the height of bloom and hang upside down in a cool, dark place to dry.
Perennial Borders, Naturalistic planting schemes, Flower arrangements, Low Maintenance, Specimen plant. Coastal.
Deschampsia cespitosa is native to both North America and Eurasia. The 50 species in this genus are, or were, found primarily in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere with temperatures ranging from 5 to 22ºC (40 to 70ºF).
It grows on nutrient-rich, somewhat acidic soil in grassland, wash lands, deciduous forests, banks, bogs and watersides. It is often the dominant grass in mountain meadows where it furnishes excellent forage and in some areas it is planted extensively, for grazing by domestic animals and wildlife.
Deschampsia is named for Louise Auguste Deschamps (1765-1842), a French naturalist and botanist.
The species name cespitosa (also caespitosa, caespitosum or caespitosus) is from the Latin caespitose which describes their clump forming habit, having a densely-clumped, tufted or cushion-like growth form, with the flowers held above the clump.
Pronounced Deschampsia (deh-SHAMP-see-ah) cespitosa (ses-pih-TOH-sah), the common names of Hair Grass or Tufted Hairgrass and Small-Flowered Tickle Grass refers to the cloudlike flower panicles and tidy, dense tussock of thin, arching leaf blades.
Deschampsia cespitosa has the synonyms Deschampsia caespitosa and Aira caespitosa. The species in this genus are all perennial except for the annual Deschampsia danthonoides. Deschampsia species were once included in Aira, but that genus is now agreed upon to include only delicate annuals of which there are two species in North America. Cody (1996) separates the two genera on characters such as whether the length of the glume is shorter than the spikelet (as in Deschampsia) or is equal to or exceeds the uppermost flower (as in Aira).
- Additional Information
Packet Size 1 gram Average Seed Count 2,500 Seeds Common Name Tufted Hairgrass Other Language Names FR: Canche cespiteuse Family Poaceae Genus Deschampsia Species cespitosa Synonym Deschampsia caespitosa, Aira caespitosa Hardiness Hardy Perennial Height Flowers: 80 to 120cm (32 to 48in) Spread 45cm (18in) Position Full sun or partial shade Soil Reasonably fertile, moisture retentive but well drained soil