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Products > Stipa gigantea
Stipa gigantea - Giant Feather Grass
Working on getting this plant back in the field but it is currently not available listing for information only!
Image of Stipa gigantea
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae) (Grasses)
Origin: Spain (Europe)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Golden
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Celtica gigantea ,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. Under the name Stipa gigantea it was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit in 1993. We have grown this stunning plant on and off since 1992. This species and Stipa tenacissima were reclassified into the genus Macrochloa in 1980 as both species plants had previously been described in this genus in the early nineteenth century (Stipa gigantea as Macrochloa arenaria) but without general agreement taxonomic agreement. In 2004 Stipa tenacissima was formally renamed Macrochloa tenacissima and Stipa gigantea reclassified as a monotypic species in the genus Celtica, as Celtica gigantea F.M.Vzquez & Barkworth. This was published in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 144(4): 491492, though this plant is most commonly still listed by horticultural sources as Stipa gigantea. The name for this new genus presumably comes from origin of this plant in Western Europe as first described by the Romans as Gaul that was inhabited by Celtic tribes. 

This information about Stipa gigantea displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.