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Products > Stipa gigantea
 
Stipa gigantea - Giant Feather Grass
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae) (Grasses)
Origin: Spain (Europe)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Golden
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Macrochloa arenaria]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: < 0 F
Stipa gigantea (Giant Feather Grass) A densely mounding evergreen grass to almost 2 feet tall with narrow arching gray-green foliage. In spring to early summer the numerous well-spaced erect flower spikes rise another 4 feet or more above the foliage, terminating in 10 inch long panicles of long-awned purplish flowers that ripen to a wheat color and all the while shimmer and rustle in even the lightest breeze. Plant in full sun in well-drained soils with regular garden watering at first but requires little irrigation once established. Hardy to at least 0 F and useful in USDA zones 5 to 10. Great in a mass planting or as a single accent plant with plants in full flower a spectacular sight, particularly when back lit by the rising or setting sun and flowers - flowers remain attractive left on the plant well into fall and are good in dried arrangements. Occasionally seeds about in the dry garden but does not seem to be too pesky and unwanted seedlings are easy to remove when young. This plant is native to the south-western Europe and northern Africa from southern Spain and Portugal and northern Morocco, where it grows on stony and sandy soils. The name for the genus comes from the Greek word 'stupe' meaning "tow" and 'stuppeion' meaning "fiber" in reference the use of fibers of Esparto Grass, Stipa tenacissima to make rope and the specific epithet appropriately describes the tall flowering stems. Other common names include Giant Needle Grass, Golden Oat, Spanish Oats and Giant Oats. This plant received the Royal Horticultural Society's prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993. We have grown this stunning plant since 1992.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Stipa gigantea.
 
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