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Silver Spike Spodiopogon sibiricus

Phonetic Spelling
spoh-dee-oh-POH-gon sy-BEER-ih-kus
Description

Spodiopogon sibiricus, or Frost grass, is an perennial ornamental grass that grows best in moist, well-drained, fertile soil in full sun or light shade. It will not do well in hot, dry sites and the colorful grass, which turns from green to red and burgundy in the fall, will be dull if it does not receive enough light. Frost grass has a bamboo-like quality and the foliage can create bold patterns with purplish or wine tints late in the season. This is a clumping grass and, unlike some ornamental grasses, is not considered invasive.

Frost grass grows best in full sun to light shade with a moist, well-drained soil. It does poorly in hot, dry situations and too much shade produces floppy growth. This is a warm season grass, so its most active growth occurs in summer. It remains upright in winter and can act as winter interest. Because it remains attractive through winter, do not cut it back until early spring before new growth begins. At that time, it can be cut down to the ground.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:

No serious pests or disease. This plant cannot tolerate drought. Frost grass does poorly in hot climates and needs to be sited where it will get daytime relief from a hot sun.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#perennial#showy leaves#colorful leaves#ornamental grass#long bloom time#clumping
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#perennial#showy leaves#colorful leaves#ornamental grass#long bloom time#clumping
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Spodiopogon
    Species:
    sibiricus
    Family:
    Poaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Siberia to Japan and China. Southeaster temperate Asia.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ornamental Grasses and Sedges
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • 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
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Caryopsis
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Dried
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Winter
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Erect panicles tipped by raceme in late summer, lack appreciable color but covered with small hairs. Attractive until October, but can last into February. The flowers are 3 to 4 inches wide, 8 to 12 inches long and rise 14 to 18 inches above the foliage, giving a very airy quality.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Green leaves often turn red and burgundy in the fall. Leaves are 5 to 13 inches long and up to 3/4 of an inch wide.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Pollution