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Mexican Feather Grass Nassella (formerly Stipa) tenuissima

  • Hardy Zones
    • 7 - 10
  • Exposure
    • Part Sun to Sun
  • Season
    • Spring
    • Summer
  • Mature Size
    • 12 - 24 Inches
Proven Selections
Mexican Feather Grass Nassella (formerly Stipa) tenuissima
Part Sun to Sun 12 - 24

Features

Tan flowers on thin, bright green foliage in late summer; moves in the slightest breeze.  Not recommended for California gardens where it has been identified as invasive.

Award Winner
Foliage Interest
Heat Tolerant
Deadheading Not Necessary
Grass: 
Grass
Native to North America

Characteristics

Duration: 
Annual
Height Category: 
Medium
Garden Height: 
12 - 24 Inches
Spacing: 
20 - 24 Inches
Spread: 
20 - 24 Inches
Flower Colors: 
White
Flower Shade: 
White
Foliage Colors: 
Green
Foliage Shade: 
Green
Habit: 
Upright
Container Role: 
Thriller
May Be Aggressive: 
May Be Aggressive

Plant Needs

Light Requirement: 
Part Sun to Sun
Maintenance Category: 
Easy
Bloom Time: 
Grown for Foliage
Hardiness Zones: 
7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
Water Category: 
Average
Uses: 
Container
Uses: 
Grass
Uses: 
Landscape
Uses Notes: 

This grass will beautify your garden all season.

Maintenance Notes: 

Stipa is a neutral grass. Where temperatures get colder than 20 degrees F, the plants should be treated as annuals. Once the grass turns brown it can either be removed immediately or removed in the spring. It should not be expected to live through the winter and begin growing again in the spring.

In areas where winter temperatures remain above 20 degrees it should be considered a perennial and the following information should be useful. Evergreen or neutral grasses are usually plants that look like grasses but aren't actually classified as grasses, they are generally called grass-like plants.

Divide evergreen or neutral grasses and grass-like plants in spring only.
Evergreen grasses don't ever go dormant. Dividing plants wounds them to some degree. For evergreen grasses this wounding will really affect their ability to live through the winter.

  • DO NOT PLANT THIS INVASIVE SPECIES IF YOU LIVE IN CALIFORNIA -- Please note: The Mexican Feathergrass was added to the CDFA Q-list in Jan. 2004. Here is some more insight from the UCANR blog: http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=14457

    Unsatisfied Did not survive, inferior performance or did not bloom well - won't grow again.
    Laura from California
    California
    United States
    1 year ago
  • Be aware that this grass is lovely but ranked at the top of the most invasive plants in California. It produces thousands of seeds which are easily spread into pastures, etc. Cattle cannot eat it without ill effects. Efforts are being made to remove it from all our local nurseries for this reason.

    If you want to be a responsible gardener, do not plant this. There are other alternatives, California natives, which are just as beautiful without the invasive properties of this plant.

    Satisfactory Average performance, met expectations but not outstanding.
    Harriet Knops
    El Dorado Hills
    California
    United States
    1 year ago
  • I have been using Mexican Feather Grass for about 4 years now. I put in oblong pots lined up on about 30' of decking. The decking is up high so people can see this when walking by. I plant in the spring with other flowers and this a beautiful way to hide the street. In the winter when the Mexican Feather Grass turns to a beautiful shade of yellow and all the other plantings are gone I run white lights in the pots for a beautiful winter interest. These are truly a "Proven Winner" in my yard.

    Outstanding My favorite plant, I recommend to others all the time and explain the reasons why I like it so much.
    Rosemarie Trylovich
    Chicago
    Illinois
    United States
    2 years ago
  • Beautiful grass! Sways with the slightest breeze. Quite drought tolerant.

    Outstanding My favorite plant, I recommend to others all the time and explain the reasons why I like it so much.
    Denis Kutch
    Nevada City
    California
    United States
    3 years ago
  • The tag states these are annual but my plants have multiplied over the last three years. I initially bought 4 plants and now have at least 30. Everyone loves these plants around my pool.

    Outstanding My favorite plant, I recommend to others all the time and explain the reasons why I like it so much.
    Tammy Harbin
    South Carolina
    United States
    5 years ago
  • I have used this grass in EVERY application: hanging basket/container/in soil. Performs like a champ! Nothing like it for look/texture/movement. Stays small, which is necessary for an Urban garden. Great Plant!

    Outstanding My favorite plant, I recommend to others all the time and explain the reasons why I like it so much.
    Bee
    Illinois
    United States
    5 years ago
  • Fantastic plant. I used in 3 containers on front porch. Simply beautiful with red flowers. I will buy more....

    Outstanding My favorite plant, I recommend to others all the time and explain the reasons why I like it so much.
    Sherri Nall
    Indiana
    United States
    5 years ago
Award Year Award Plant Trial
2010 Best Selection University of Wisconsin
2010 Best Selection University of Wisconsin
2010 Best Selection University of Wisconsin
2007 Arboretum Approved Dallas Arboretum
2007 Arboretum Approved Dallas Arboretum
2007 Arboretum Approved Dallas Arboretum
2007 Arboretum Approved Dallas Arboretum
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