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Molinia caerulea

Previously known as:

  • Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea
Phonetic Spelling
moh-LEEN-ee-ah seh-ROO-lee-ah
Description

This is a dense, upright, warm season perennial grass featuring flat narrow leaf blades. The foliage turns golden yellow in fall. The foliage and flower stalks typically break down and fall over in late fall, providing little winter interest. Cut any surviving foliage back to the ground in early spring (late February-March) just before the new leaf blades appear.

It is slow to become established and prefers moderate to moist, cool site. Tolerates low fertility.

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea
  • 'Moorhexe moor'
  • 'Windspiel'
Tags:
#showy flowers#fall color#water garden#rain garden#specimen#slow growing#winter interest#ornamental grass#cottage garden#accent plant#mass planting#meadow#black walnut#moist soil#pond#cool temperatures#borders#naturalized area#poor soils tolerant#wet soils tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea
  • 'Moorhexe moor'
  • 'Windspiel'
Tags:
#showy flowers#fall color#water garden#rain garden#specimen#slow growing#winter interest#ornamental grass#cottage garden#accent plant#mass planting#meadow#black walnut#moist soil#pond#cool temperatures#borders#naturalized area#poor soils tolerant#wet soils tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Molinia
    Species:
    caerulea
    Family:
    Poaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe to Kazakhstan, Mediterranean and Ethiopia
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ornamental Grass
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Clumping
    Erect
    Mounding
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • 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:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Caryopsis
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Good Dried
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Narrow purplish panicles in mid-summer held high above foliage that freely move with the wind. Modest flowering in hot, dry weather. Fades to a tawny yellow in fall, breaking off in early winter.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Grows in a dense, low mound of basal foliage. Leaves are flat and narrow, turning golden yellow in fall. Breaks down in early winter. Moderate to fine texture.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Rain Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Erosion
    Pollution
    Poor Soil
    Wet Soil