October 14, 2008 at 9:56 pm #176273
I would like to find an adequate substitution for the beautiful but invasive, Mexican Feather Grass (Nassella tenuissima). I was thinking about using Purple three-awn (Aristida purpurea) seen below. Anyone have experience using this or have another idea for a substitution?
Thanks in advance!
AndrewNovember 18, 2008 at 9:50 pm #176287nick loweParticipant
What is your climate zone? We use pink muhly grass it is a native to the united states.November 19, 2008 at 3:46 am #176286
I am in the Bay Area of Northern California, so the climate zone vary. We use pink muhly here, as well, and I am a huge fan.
AndrewJune 16, 2010 at 9:23 pm #176285ncaParticipant
I’ve been using alot of the following:
Miscanthus sinensis (Maiden Grass)
Blue Avena (can’t rememeber horticultural name)
Schyzochyrium scoparium (Little Bluestem)June 17, 2010 at 12:55 pm #176284al fathiParticipant
imho, try Pennisetum setaceum. its versatile and share similar traits.June 17, 2010 at 2:34 pm #176283David J. ChiricoParticipant
Looks a little like Karl Foerster’s Feather Reed Grass, Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’June 17, 2010 at 2:38 pm #176282Rob HalpernParticipant
Ornamental grasses are quickly becoming a serious source of invasives in many parts of the country. Miscanthus has gotten completely out of hand in some areas, Pennisetum too.
In the Central part of the country, Eragrostis trichodes has a texture similar to Nasella, if soil and watering conditions will suit. But it is not native to California, so what will it do there? (In the Bay Area I suspect very little problem, but inland it could be different)
The Bay Area has so many weird micro-climates that it is difficult to make suggestions without doing all the homework (What works at the western ends of Golden Gate Park is not the same as in Oakland)
Don’t neglect the sedgesJune 23, 2010 at 8:56 pm #176281Jon QuackenbushParticipant
Precisely why I am all for the exclusive use of native to your area plants, especially is large scale projects. Why fight what nature has adapted to for your area? Have some pride in your bio-region!
I am seriously considering starting a native tree and shrub nursery, its unfortunate that a vast majority aren’t available.June 24, 2010 at 1:46 am #176280Tanya OlsonParticipant
I agree with Rob H. on this one – be sure to check out the sedges. They also tend to be very fine textured. Also Sporobolus airoides – like the sedges, not hair-fine like the Nassella. The Aristida is gorgeous, though if you can get it. I like it better than the Nassella!
Also check Festuca mairei – very similar to the Aristida. I’ve used it before in Petaluma and got lots of compliments (and its a bit of a departure from the typical Festuca californica). Its available (plus lots of sedges) from Cornflower Farms.June 24, 2010 at 2:10 am #176279
Excellent suggestions! I was curious about Aristida, but I have not seen it used so I was a bit hesitant. Do you have any pictures of it in one of your designs?
Thanks again!June 24, 2010 at 2:11 am #176278
Good call. Sedges are wonderful. Do you have one in particular that you favor?June 24, 2010 at 7:25 pm #176277Tanya OlsonParticipant
Looking at my sentence, it read like I have used the aristida. I’ve used the Festuca mairei. I think this might be it (see attached pic). I used F. californica on the same project I think, so I might be mistaken.
http://backyardgardener.com/Plant-Index/Plants/Aristida/purpurea.html has a list of nurseries where the A. purpurea is available. It even has a cultivar – ‘Chino Hills’.December 30, 2010 at 1:47 am #176276doreenParticipant
I couldn’t find it in any of the nurseries here in SoCal since it is warm season, but I just bought Aristida purpurea seeds from Theodore Payne Society. I’ll post pictures in a few months…December 30, 2010 at 3:02 am #176275Thomas J. JohnsonParticipantJanuary 7, 2011 at 5:42 pm #176274jennifer BlochParticipant
i like muhlenbergia regal mist – purple capillaris muhly for the green wispyness. and fall color.
also helicotrichon sempervirens (it’s a little more rigid and structural but it has a nice texture – also great silver blue/green coloration)
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