Ornamental Grasses for Partial Shade

Tufted Hair Grass

Tufted Hair Grass – Deschampsia cespitosa

Hairgrass Deschampsia cespitosa grows to 6′

Full Sun to Part Shade

Zones 5 – 9

Hairgrass is an evergreen (depending on climate) grass with airy plumes in shades of golden, silver, purple, and green. The plant has an attractive mounding habit, as well.

Height: 2-3 feet.

Width: 2-3 feet.

Bloom: silky green, May-June, maturing to yellow/gold/bronze.

Notes: Dark green clump forming grass. Yellow to bronze fall color. Silky green flower panicles in spring. Best in moist partial shade.

Northern Sea Oats

Northern Sea Oats – Chasmanthium latifolium

Height: 2-3 feet.

Width: 2-3 feet.

Bloom: green, June-July, maturing to copper/brown.

Notes: Has bamboo like appearance. Very attractive seed heads in late summer/fall.

Will grow in full shade. Reseeds very heavily.

Japanese Forest Grass

Japanese Forest Grass – Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’

Height: 12-18 inches.

Width: 18-24 inches.

Bloom: insignificant green, July-August.

Notes: Elegant arching clumps of lime green foliage. Reddish fall color. Slow growing. Best in part shade.

Fall Blooming Reed Grass

Fall Blooming Reed Grass –Calamagrostis arundinacea

Height: 3-4 feet.

Width: 2-3 feet.

Bloom: none.

Notes: Upright clump forming grass. Pink flower plumes in late summer early fall. Best in part shade.

Purple Moorgrass

Purple Moorgrass Molinia caerulea

Part Shade or Full Sun Grows to 5′

Bowles Sedge

1′ – 2′ tall 2′ – 3′ wide

Bright yellow new leaves in spring are especially striking, but color carries through the year. Best color in full sun, but also brightens shady areas. For dramatic effect, combine with contrasting deep green foliage plants such as Hostas. Thrives in moist soils; tolerates shallow water at the edge of ponds. Semi-Evergreen.


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