Stipa tenuissima – Mexican Feather Grass Ornamental grass
Mexican feather grass grows from one to three feet tall and wide. It produces a mass of long, graceful, green foliage that grows in dense clumps. In a gentle breeze, its narrow leaves will sway back and forth, creating an interesting effect. The silky seed heads may glow brightly when they catch the sunlight. Flowers mature to a golden brown color in late summer through the fall. This grass likes full sun and prefers amended, well-draining soils. It will take our hot summers and prefers moderate irrigation to look its best.
Mexican feather grass is hardy to thirty degrees Fahrenheit. It will become drought tolerant as it matures and does not like to be over watered. Prune it back in later winter or early spring. This ornamental is considered a cool season grass because most of its growth occurs during the cooler months. It will go dormant during the hot, bone-dry summers in its native range. This grass will reseed itself and is not a pest, but some consider it to be invasive at times. It is a good idea to cut back the seed heads before they ripen to keep the plant from reseeding. Run a rake through it in late winter to early spring to take out any dead foliage.
This ornamental grass looks nice when mixed in with boulders, planted in masses, or used as a specimen. Plant it in beds or use it in borders along with perennials and annuals. It can also be grown in containers and used in dried flower arrangements. Mexican feather grass is an exceptional choice to use for erosion control on sunny slopes. It can be found growing naturally on rocky slopes, dry open woods, and dry prairies, growing from New Mexico and Texas, and south through Central Mexico.