As noted in my last posting, I will now upload pictures of other native grasses that do well as garden plants. Deergrass is a large bunchgrass that will accept water or drought. It prefers full sun to part shade, though it is doing well in a fairly shady part of my garden. This warm-season grower can be cut back (or not, as you like) in late spring right before it starts its new growth. Water it deeply, add a very dillute fertilizer, and within days it will be return with fine, lush, green blades.
Flowers of deergrass (Muhlenbergia rigens) are back lit at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.
This and other grasses look especially nice with boulders. (RSABG, May 2006)
Growing outside the office of the Theodore Payne Foundation, June 2006.
Lining steps outside the office of the Theodore Payne Foundation, June 2006.
Planting of deergrass (M. rigens); white sage (Salivia apiana) and coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis ‘Pigeon Point’) behind the Lanz outdoor classroom at Rancho, December 2005.
Growing in a bed with mugwort (Artemisia douglasiana) and other “wetter” plants at the Maloof Foundation Garden in Alta Loma, CA, April 2005.
7 thoughts on “Native Grasses, Sedges and Rush for the Garden, Part 2”
I enjoy your blog and a glimpse at your part of the world.<br />Donna
I'm not much good at telling them apart but I admire grasses for their subtlety. Seen up close the architecture of the flower can be amazing. A great idea to showcase the grasses here, Rob 🙂
I agree, this grass is a winner! It really does just fine without water, and makes quite a statement.
Thanks, all. I gave a talk on it last night for the Orange County California Native Plant Society. I promised them I'd upload the references and the rest of the pictures – so there is more to come.
I love this one too but am concerned in general about flammability of grasses – maybe if it's kept watered and cut back it's ok? I love the grasses but have not focused on them, except the nasella. This year I'm going to try and propagate the other grass that grows here natively (and that I can ID) which is coast melic, melica imperfecta – though I may be a bit late to gather seeds.
Flammability is an important issue. On slopes and in homes next to open space, grasses should be cut back when dormant. Fire safety includes reduction of fuel load – for all plants, spacing and making sure there are no fire ladders. I don't think this makes bunchgrass inappropriate for garden use. As you know all plants, even succulents, will burn if it is hot and dry enough. It certainly is
In the early 80s I lodged in the Mt Lofty Ranges north of Adelaide and witnessed the flammability of dry vegetation on 'Ash Wednesday'. Only a shift in wind direction saved my own street.
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