Virginia Wild Rye is a cool season perennial bunch grass featuring silvery blue-green leaves in spring and brilliant golden brown leaves in fall.
Spike-like flowers bloom in late summer to early autumn; seedheads resemble a bottle brush and offer interesting texture in the garden.
Clumping sedge with fine textured leaves that grows in wet conditions; wildlife friendly!
Big Bluestem is a tall, attractive, drought-tolerant native grass with colorful foliage and enormous benefits for wildlife.
American Beachgrass is an evergreen grass, ubiquitous to the northeastern seaside landscape. Yellow, inconspicuous flowers bloom on spikes, May-September. It is commonly used as a dune stabilizer along the east coast. Rhizomes (underground stems) travel vertically and horizontally for up to 20 feet, creating a “net,” which holds the sand in place. As sand builds up around the plant, the vertical stems grow higher; this continuous process builds the dune. American Beachgrass is best planted during its dormancy period, October-March.
Coastal Panicgrass is a clump-forming, warm season, perennial grass that supports wildlife throughout the year.
Prairie Cordgrass is a tall, stiff, warm-season perennial grass. Its clustered branches of yellow-brown flowers bloom on spikelets, July-August. Its sharp-edged leaves have earned it one of its common names, Ripgut. Leaves turn yellow in the fall. Prairie Cordgrass provides habitat and nesting materials for birds and wildlife. It prefers wet, fertile, loamy soil and will tolerate periodic flooding; it creates thick stands in optimum conditions. However, it will also tolerate dry soils, where it will not grow or spread as quickly. The native habitat of Prairie Cordgrass includes freshwater marshes, as well as low roadside areas. Use it to aid in erosion control around ponds, or plant it in your rain garden. This plant is also used to vegetate large swales and retention basins.
Saltmeadow Cordgrass is a warm-season perennial grass. The slender, wiry plants grow in thick mats. The action of wind and water can bend the stems, giving a whorled appearance to this hay-like grass. Purplish, wind-pollinated flowers appear on spikelets, June-August. This plant grows on salty, brackish, and freshwater marshes, tidal flats, and dunes. It tolerates flooding, and spreads aggressively through rhizomes (underground stems). Although it is native to salty areas, it grows larger in fresh water habitats. Saltmeadow Cordgrass is highly adaptable to a range of soil conditions. It provides food and cover for aquatic and terrestrial wildlife. You can use Saltmeadow Cordgrass as shoreline protection to control erosion, for dune stabilization, and tidal marsh restoration. There are many cultivars available commercially to suit your needs and preferences.
Eastern Gamagrass is a warm-season bunchgrass, which displays purple female flowers and orange male flowers on the same plant (monoecious), May-September. It is a host plant for butterfly and moth larvae (caterpillars), including Byssus Skipper (Problema byssus). Deer eat the seeds. Cut back Eastern Gamagrass to 8 inches in the winter, after the foliage has died back from frost. Use it in woodland gardens, perennial borders, meadows, or naturalized areas in your yard.