Plant DetailShow Menu

Tussock Grass Deschampsia cespitosa

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
des-CHAMP-see-ah sess-pih-TOH-sah
Description

Tussock Grass is a cool-season bunching grass. Variable in flower and foliage depending on soil and light conditions. It self seeds and is salt tolerant.  Cut old foliage to the ground in late winter before new growth starts.

This grass has dark green leaves with cloud-like green to gold inflorescence in summer that turns to light golden straw color that lasts into winter. Good as cut flower. Clumped, densely tufted mass of fine, narrow leaves that are upright and open with fine texture. It prefers light to moderate shade. It will grow in full sun but reduces the quality of foliage and flower. Prefers humus-rich moist to soggy soils. Can be used as an ornamental grass. 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Goldschleier'
  • 'Schottland'
'Goldschleier', 'Schottland'
Tags:
#drought tolerant#semi-evergreen#cut flowers#salt tolerant#ornamental grass#NC native
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Goldschleier'
  • 'Schottland'
'Goldschleier', 'Schottland'
Tags:
#drought tolerant#semi-evergreen#cut flowers#salt tolerant#ornamental grass#NC native
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Deschampsia
    Species:
    cespitosa
    Family:
    Poaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Northern Hemisphere
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Salt tolerant; some cultivars are drought tolerant
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 8 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Ornamental Grasses and Sedges
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Dense
    Erect
    Open
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Caryopsis
    Fruit Description:
    Flowers turn tan as the seeds ripen. May last into winter.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Long-lasting
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Winter
    Flower Description:
    Cloud-like inflorescences in summer is up to 20 inches long of tiny variable colored flowers in tones of gold, silver, purple and green. Good as cut flower.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Dense clump-forming tufted foliage is narrow, fine-textured
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Native Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Drought
    Pollution
    Rabbits
    Salt