Mexican Feather Grass Plants
- Colour: Silver-green maturing to buff
- Flowering: Jun-Sep
- Foliage: Yellow-green
- Height x Spread: 60cm x 30cm
- Spacing: 30cm
- Position: Sun
- Soil: Any, well-drained
- RHS Award of Garden Merit
Stipa tenuissima - Mexican Feather or Texas Needle Grass
With its graceful movement and long season of interest, Stipa tenuissima, or the Mexican feather grass, is one of the most versatile grasses for the ornamental garden.
A deciduous grass growing to just 60cm, Stipa tenuissima starts the season with thread-like, pale yellow-green leaves. In June, it develops arching feathery silver-green flowers, which mature during the summer to a buff colour. Keep the leaves and flower heads on the plant during winter for interest and as somewhere for beneficial insects to find shelter.
Great In Your Garden...
A classic ingredient for informal planting schemes, Stipa tenuissima looks wonderful alongside jolly little flowers like Coreopsis Early Sunrise, daisy family perennials like Echinacea purpurea and Rudbeckia Goldsturm. Perfect for imagining you're sitting amid the wild flowers of the Great Plains!
Gravel or dry gardens, which are becoming more popular in the UK are an almost natural habitat for Mexican feather grass. Blend it with other grasses and drought tolerant large-leaved plants like Verbena bonariensis Lollipop for a low-maintenance but stunning combination.
Stipa tenuissima is ideal for warm, dry city, courtyard or architectural gardens where plants are mostly in large containers or raised beds. Team it with half-hardy exotics with contrasting foliage, such as bananas, cannas, agaves and yuccas. Add hints of jewel colours with perennials such as the orange-red Crocosmia Emily McKenzie.
- Colour: Silver-green plumes maturing to buff.
- Flowering: June to September.
- Foliage: Yellow-green thread-like leaves.
- Height: 60cm.
- Spread: 30cm.
- Spacing: 30cm.
- Position: Sun.
- Soil: Any soil type, as long as it is well-drained.
- Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.
Did You Know...
You'll also find Stipa tenuissima listed as Texas needle grass, Nassella tenuissima, N. tenuissima Pony Tails, Stipa tenuifolia and S. tenuissima Pony Tails - they're all the same plant.
Plant in full sun in well-drained, light, moderately fertile soil. Add organic matter when planting. Allow 30cm between plants. Water until it is growing well. Suitable for containers. Very drought-tolerant once established. Add granular general fertiliser, cut back old foliage and divide plants if necessary in early spring.