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Products > Austrostipa ramosissima
Austrostipa ramosissima - Pillar of Smoke

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae) (Grasses)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Flower Color: Cream
Bloomtime: Year-round
Synonyms: [Stipa ramosissima]
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Austrostipa ramosissima (Pillar of Smoke) - This tall-growing cool-season evergreen grass has a columnar growth habit to 6 feet tall with bright green foliage and showy flowers that bloom along the inflorescence in such a way that the illusion of a pillar of smoke is created. The flowers in branched panicles 6 to 8 inches long appear continuously in cultivation and emerge a silky bronze color, aging first to cream and finally to gray. It is heat and drought tolerant although plants look better with occasional irrigation. It is evergreen in mild climates, and is reported by John Greenlee as having withstood 18 degrees F without damage. Its hardiness in colder climates is unknown. It tolerates wind and coastal conditions. John Greenlee says "Pillar of smoke is a stunning addition to the American nursery trade that has caused a sensation on the California horticultural scene sure to ripple across the country." Rick Darke says "this grass blooms nearly continuously in cultivation, producing a dense, towering mass of fine-textured inflorescences." Nevin Smith says "Open sprays of small, pendant spikelets grace the plant in late summer and fall. ... A very beautiful grass."  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We have also incorporated comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing  Austrostipa ramosissima.