Alphabetical Plant Listing

Helictotrichon sempervirens (Blue Oat Grass)

Blue Oat Grass


Well-behaved and highly charming, Blue Oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens) is a showy ornamental grass that grows in attractive, round clumps of gracefully arching narrow steel blue leaves. Resembling Blue Fescue (Festuca Glauca) but significantly bigger, it is the best of the mid-sized blue-leaved grasses. Semi-evergreen, it requires little care while providing ornamental qualities much prized by gardeners.

  • Delicate open panicles of small, straw-colored spikelets appear in early-mid summer, held about 2ft. (60 cm) above the foliage on slender, arching stems.
  • Easily growing in a dense 2-3 feet tall (60-90 cm) fountain-like clump, this western Mediterranean native thrives in full sun (tolerates light shade) in dry soils and requires relatively good drainage.
  • Salt, drought tolerant and deer or rabbit resistant, this cool season grass provides all year around interest thanks to its evergreen foliage in mild winter areas. 
  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society (1993) 
  • Superb as a specimen plant, for beds or bordersrock gardens and can be massed for ground cover effect.
  • Cut back foliage in late winter.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Heat Zones 1 – 9
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' – 5' (60cm – 150cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" – 24" (45cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Salt
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ground Covers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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Photos Dig your Garden, Lankford Associates,  Drew Avery

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Heat Zones 1 – 9
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' – 5' (60cm – 150cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" – 24" (45cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Salt
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ground Covers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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