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Mexican Feather Grass Nassella (formerly Stipa) tenuissima

  • Part Sun to Sun

The optimum amount of sun or shade each plant needs to thrive: Full Sun (6+ hours), Part Sun (4-6 hours), Full Shade (up to 4 hours).

Flower Season
  • Spring
  • Summer
Mature Size
2' 2'
12" - 2'
20" - 2'
  • Details


    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
    Native to North America


    Plant Type: 
    Height Category: 
    Garden Height: 
    12 - 24 Inches
    20 - 24 Inches
    20 - 24 Inches
    Flower Colors: 
    Flower Shade: 
    Foliage Colors: 
    Foliage Shade: 
    Container Role: 
    May Be Aggressive: 
    May Be Aggressive

    Plant Needs

    Light Requirement: 
    Part Sun to Sun
    Maintenance Category: 
    Bloom Time: 
    Grown for Foliage
    Hardiness Zones: 
    7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
    Water Category: 
    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.

  • 9 Reviews

    Browse reviews from people who have grown this plant.
    • I just received my Mexican Feather Grass and it is beautiful. It didn't seem to have any problem being boxed up for it's journey. I live in South Dakota, so I don't have to worry about invasive. I planted it last year in containers and it was beautiful. I now plan to plant on my slope, front row with David's Choice Artemesia. I know I will have to buy again next year. . .but it's well worth the beauty it delivers throughout the summer.

      Lynn Anne Miller
      , South Dakota
      , 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.

      Harriet Knops
      , California
      , United States
      , 7 years 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.

      Rosemarie Trylovich
      , Illinois
      , United States
      , 7 years ago
    • Beautiful grass! Sways with the slightest breeze. Quite drought tolerant.

      Denis Kutch
      , California
      , United States
      , 8 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.

      Tammy Harbin
      , South Carolina
      , United States
      , 11 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!

      , Illinois
      , United States
      , 11 years ago
    • Fantastic plant. I used in 3 containers on front porch. Simply beautiful with red flowers. I will buy more....

      Sherri Nall
      , Indiana
      , United States
      , 11 years ago
  • 7 Awards

    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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