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Family: PoaceaeMain Season: SummerFlower Colour: PurpleLeaf Colour: White/cream variegatedFoliage: DeciduousPosition: SunSoil Type: Good, moist, humus-richHeight: 45cm to 60cm (18" to 2')Peat Free? Not yetHardiness Guide: RHS H7 minimum at least -20CPot Size: 9cm
Reliable creamy leaves striped green. Purplish flowers to 60cm.
One of the most widely available varieties, Molinia caerulea 'Variegata' is one of the most decorative small ornamental grasses. It is also one of those ornamental grasses that proves that growing grasses in gardens is not just a recent fashion - it has been listed in nursery catalogues dating back to at least the 1860s.
'Variegata' makes good size clumps of it's cream variegated leaves and many arching creamy flower stems topped with dark purplish brown flower spikes in mid summer. In an average soil (or container) it will usually get to no more than 60cm but when grown in good, fertile, moist conditions it can make it to nearly double that height. It is one of the few Purple Moor Grasses that is worth trying in a more shady position. Beth Chatto has it in some spots that can't ever get any direct sun but are still light enough for it to grow well. It is more likely to flop in shade.
In autumn the colour is less good than the green leaved forms, the foliage turns a bleached buff and the stems a pale buff-yellow. It usually holds it shape well until New Year before collapsing.