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Anemanthele lessoniana

Anemanthele lessoniana
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Price:  £3.50
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Family:  Poaceae
Main Season:  Summer
Flower Colour:  Pink
Leaf Colour:  Green
Position:  Light/Part Shade
Soil Type:  Ordinary, medium loam
Height:  90cm to 1.2m (3' to 4')
RHS Award of Garden Merit:  RHS Award of Garden Merit
Pot Size:  9cm

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New Zealand Wind Grass.

Olive geen foliage tinted orange and red in late summer and autumn. Wispy flowers form a cloud above the foliage in late summer. 1m. Not dry.

Clump forming and self seeding but easy to control, this ornamental grass is pretty hardy and will survive most winters in the UK (to -16oC with us) but in the rest of northern Europe it can struggle in winter.  Attractive pinkish silken flowers appear from early summer and become golden as they turn to seed at the end of summer, they are held amongst the tops of the clump and dangle more as the summer passes.  The foliage colours orange, yellow or bronzey according to conditions and parentage of the plant (almost always seed grown it is variable).  To 60cm-90cm depending on conditions.

This endemic New Zealand native grass is one of the most popular ornamental grasses in the UK and it deserves a place in most gardens even if you do not grow many grasses.  It is mis-understood a bit though which can lead to some innapropriate plantings.  In New Zealand it tends to grow in part shade to shaded sites in forest, forest margin and cliffs and is found in North and South Islands.  It is widely grown as an ornamnetal gras in New Zealand too, usually in shady positions.

Unfortunately in the UK it is often planted in dry soils in full sun where it will grow but looks decidedly shrivelled!  It is ideal for some of the difficult areas in gardens where there are overhanging trees or shrubs that make one end of a bed drier and shaded, we have it growing under a willow windbreak just inside the nursery gate for example.  In good soil the foliage will be a deep green with the autumnal tints in winter, poorer soils and more sun will encourage the orange leaf colouring for more of the year.

Synonyms: Stipa arundinacea, Calamagrostis arundinacea misapplied, Agrostis lessoniana, Oryzopsis lessoniana, Oryzopsis rigida and a load more!

Common Names: Zew Zealand Wind Grass, Pheasant Tail Grass.


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