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Products > Sesleria autumnalis
 
Sesleria autumnalis - Autumn Moor Grass
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae) (Grasses)
Origin: Italy (Europe)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [S. autumnalis 'Campo Verde']
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: < 0 F
Sesleria autumnalis (Autumn Moor Grass) - An beautiful evergreen cool season perennial clump grass that forms neat pale green tussocks to 10 to 12 inch tall with narrow (3/16" wide) light green leaf blades that arch over gracefully and in cooler climates develops an attractive yellow tint in fall. In early to mid-spring (March to April in our climate) emerge the tight narrow green flower spikes with white anthers that sit above the foliage atop slender 18 inch tall stems, moving gracefully in the wind. The spikes fade to a tan and then gray through summer and fall but remain attractive. This grass tolerates a wide range of conditions - wet to dry, sun to shade with some protection in hotter inland locations - we can't test this but it has been reported as not liking heat and high humidity but it does wonderfully in our mediterranean climate and is used extensively in east coast gardens. Frost hardy and useful in gardens from USDA zones 5 (maybe as low as 4) to 10. A beautiful meadow grass that is well maintained and does not reseed in the garden. This plant comes from grasslands of southern Europe and the Caucasus, the region between Europe and Asia that lies between the Black and the Caspian Sea, whose native people were called Moors. The name for the genus honors the 18th century Italian physician and botanist, Leonardo Selser and while the specific epithet and the common name both refer to this plant flowering in the fall, here in California flowering occurs much earlier in the in spring. There are more than one form of Sesleria autumnalis in the nursery trade with some having coarser foliage and others with a more rhizomatous (spreading) habit. The form we grow is a delicate fine-textured clumping grass that has become a favorite grass of many of our customers for making a natural meadow look. We have made comparison trials of this species sourced from several other nurseries and determined that Native Sons Nursery in Arroyo Grande also grows this very nice form and calls it 'Campo Verde' to distinguish it from the larger slightly more coarse form sold by others. We received our original stock of Sesleria autumnalis in 1985 from Kurt Bluemel Nursery in Maryland and have been growing only this form ever since. There have been several instances where spontaneous seedling hybrids have occurred between it and Sesleria caerulea - one such hybrid found in John Greenlee's Pomona California nursery is called Sesleria 'Greenlee' This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We will also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information about this plant, in particular if this information is contrary to what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Sesleria autumnalis.
 
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