Lagurus ovatus is probably the most appealing of all the ornamental grasses. The name ‘Hare’s Tail’ perfectly accurately describes the creamy-white flower heads, which are hare's tail-shaped, fur-like and soft to the touch!
A short grass with green leaves and a clump forming habit, the fluffy plumes are ideal for the edge of the garden, adding texture to beds and borders. Easy to grow from seed and flowering in 12 to 13 weeks and although an annual, it may be hardy in some regions or with frost-free protection in winter.
This grass works especially well with flowers that bloom in late summer and autumn. The ‘tails’ turn to rich tan and dry out beautifully on the plant. You can leave them there – as they make spectacular winter accents, lasting until they catch the first heavy snowfall or cut and dry them for indoor arrangements. They dry beautifully and last for months, refusing to shatter the way some textured grasses do after drying.
Lagurus ovatus has been awarded the prestigious RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Sow direct in March/April for flowering in July/August or sow in a cold frame during autumn.
Hare’s Tail Grass germinates easily from seed. The plant does not tolerate much disturbance so direct sowing in spring or autumn is best. Grow in full sun and in ordinary well drained soil.
Sow direct, 6mm (¼in) deep, 30cm (12in) apart in well cultivated soil which has been raked to a fine tilth. Cover seeds lightly and keep moist. Germination 10 to 12 days. The temperature change (day to night) will improve the germination.
The plants prefer sandy soil and medium to low fertility. 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.
Hare’s Tail Grass can be dried and make interesting focal or secondary flowers in dried arrangements. Cut the flowers after they open, tie them in bunches, and hang them upside down in a well-ventilated room.
Architectural, Cottage/Informal Garden, Drought Resistant, Flower Arranging, Flowers Borders and Beds, Low Maintenance or Mediterranean.
Lagurus ovatus is an annual Mediterranean grass. It is usually found growing in fairly short coastal grassland and fixed sand-dunes near the coast.
The genus name Lagurus is derived from the Greek lagos meaning ‘a hare’ and oura meaning ‘a tail’, in reference to the shape of its flowers.
The species name ovatus is derived from the Latin ovare meaning ‘to lay eggs’, in reference to the seed heads.
It is commonly known as Hare’s Tail Grass, Bunnies’ Tails, Turk’s Head Grass or Rabbit’s Tail Grass.
Jersey and the “Battle of Flowers”
People on the Island of Jersey use Lagurus ovatus extensively to decorate floats in their annual “Battle of Flowers” They are first dried and then coloured.
This flower was introduced in the 1860’s and in 1902, the people of Jersey wanted to celebrate the Coronation of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, and they wanted to make it different. So, someone somewhere hit upon the idea of a "Battle of Flowers". Little did they realise when the words were first uttered that over 100 years later the event would be World famous and have passed its Centenary.
With the exception of the duration of the two World Wars, the Island has regularly gone "into Battle", and the event has become a community focal point as well as the high point of the summer season. Back in the '60s, the event was attracting huge audiences and most Battle observers agree that the largest crowd was probably the 60,000 which saw the spectacle in 1969. Smaller numbers - around 30,000 people watch the event these days, safe in the saying that "it never rains on Battle Day" - fingers crossed!
This century of Battles has also reflected the changes and developments that have occurred in western society. The first motor vehicles joined the parade in 1906, but horse-drawn floats were popular right up until the 1970s. Gone also is the real "Battle" where the crowd were invited to rip up the exhibits and pelt their friends with flowers!
- Additional Information
Packet Size 500mg Average Seed Count 1,000 Seeds Common Name Hares-tail, Bouquet Grass, Ornamental Grass Other Common Names Hare's tail, Bunny Tails, Bunny Tail Family Poaceae Genus Lagurus Species ovatus Cultivar Wildflower of the British Isles Hardiness Hardy Annual Flowers Creamy white awns in July to September Height 40cm (15in) Spread 15-22cm (6-9in) Position Full Sun Soil Ordinary garden soil or sandy soil