Tall, Colorful and Handsome: Bamboos and Ornamental Grasses

Bring structure, form, color, height, even sound and movement to your garden's landscaping with these plants.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Fountain Bamboo

The fountain bamboo has slender, purple-green canes topped by narrow, mid-green leaves. It is compact and slow-growing.

Pampas Grass

Impressive size, graceful aspect, and spectacular flowers all combine to make pampas grass, Cortaderia selloana, one of the most recognized plants in the landscape. The real show starts in midsummer when the spectacular white plumes burst into bloom above the foliage.

Giant Feather Grass

A luminescent, tall and stately ornamental grass, giant feather grass unfurls flowers in June and July that shimmer in the light and rustle in the slightest breeze. Its arching foliage is silvery, purple-green which ripen to gold.

Gardeners Garters

Ribbon grass, Phalaris arundinaera, grows in upright clumps of white and green foliage that reaches to 10 feet tall. This grass tolerates wet soil and drought and produces white to pink inflorescences in late summer. Plant in light shade.

Groundcover Bamboo

Short, almost ground hugging species, Sasa quelpaertensis makes a great ground cover. The spectacular large leaves of this bamboo bleach in winter. Good for small container or bonsai.

Japanese Blood Grass

This small, slow-growing, perennial grass sports blood-red leaves that increase in intensity as fall approaches.

Grassy Beauty

Miscanthus is a tall grass with narrow arching leaves and feathery flower plumes that brush together in the wind. Leave the plumes on through winter for a little visual interest.

Bowles Golden Sedge

Bowles Golden ‘Aurea’ is a sedge that is among the loveliest choices for the shade. The golden leaves are thinly edged in dark green, a glowing presence even in dense shade.

Black Lilyturf

Also known as Black Dragon or Ebony Knight, Black Lilyturf is an extraordinary looking ornamental grass with its jet black leaves when grown in full sun. Summer brings pale ping flowers followed soon by shiny black berries.

Elijah Blue

The outstanding, icy blue color of Elijah Blue Fescue is maintained through the heat of the summer. Violet-blue flowers rise above this clumping ornamental grass in summer.

Maiden Grass

Maiden grass is noted for its narrow green leaves with a silver midrib which turn a lovely bronze color in the fall. Tiny reddish-copper flowers appear in tassel-like stalks above the foliage early fall, gradually fading to silvery plumes.

fountain grass

The flowers of this billowing grass resemble gray-white cats' tails. The leaves turn gold in fall.

Next Up

How to Landscape With Ornamental Grasses

Decorate your lawn or garden with ornamental grasses to achieve a free-flowing, modern feel in your outdoor spaces.

How to Plant Ornamental Grasses

Make ornamental grasses a part of your garden with this planting guide.

Types of Ornamental Grasses

Ten great grasses that will bring your garden to cheers.

Our Favorite Ornamental Grasses

Add some of these go-with-the-flow grasses to your garden for extra interest throughout the growing season.

Invasive Ornamental Grasses

Learn how to control these attractive, but potentially invasive, "bad guys" of the ornamental grass world.

Sow Ornamental Grasses From Seed

Very fashionable and extremely versatile, annual grasses are easy to grow from seed, and can be used in wild, meadow-style plantings, as well as container designs.

Ornamental Grasses for Every Situation

Choose the ornamental grass based on the season, the height and the type of soil.