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Stipa tenuissima 'Pony Tails'

Review Notes: Hardy Perennial
Foliage: Grey-green with purple tinge
Flowers: Summer to Autumn
Height: 60cm (24)
Spread: 30cm (12)
Position: Full Sun to partial shade
Aspect: All aspects. Exposed or Sheltered
Soil: Needs sharp drained soil

Stipa tenuissima: wonderfully impressive with its evergreen base clump of fine leaves topped, in summer, with an array of flowering spikes, which turn from silvery green to gold and reach 2.5m (8ft).
A neat, compact, perennial grass, this has lots of close-packed, stiff, thread-like stems forming a strongly horizontal shape. In summer, plants are covered with masses of elegant pale feathery seed-heads which are held a little above the foliage. These can be cut and dried when first opened for use in winter arrangements indoors. Alternatively they make a useful winter food source for finches and other seed-eating birds.
Plants like a sunny well-drained spot and associate well with compact alstroemerias, rock plants and other grasses that enjoy similar growing conditions.

In winter, while your garden sleeps, these ornamental grasses add colour, texture, and movement. Backlighting grasses is another way to wake up landscapes. Ornamental grasses are easy to maintain, but the rewards are great when grasses grace your landscape.

Aftercare:
Feed in spring like ordinary perennials, with a single dressing of a general fertiliser. Even without an annual feed, most grasses will put on a first-rate show. The more nitrogen grasses receive the greener and further they'll grow. This spreading habit is fine in a field, but in a garden they may become too lush and the flower quality may suffer.

Division:
Once the plant is established, divide in March to April. It is relatively easy to propagate by division. Do this in spring, not autumn, as some newly divided plants may rot before they've developed a good root system.

Drying:
Pony Tails can be dried and make interesting focal or secondary flowers in dried arrangements. Cut the flower at the height of bloom and hang upside down in a cool, dark place to dry.

Plant Uses:
Architectural, Cottage/Informal Garden, Drought Resistant, Flower Arranging, Flowers Borders and Beds, Low Maintenance or Mediterranean.

Supplied Height Approx 6" 0.95 + P&P







Plant Type:- Grass
Colour:- silvery green to gold and reach 2.5m
Flowering Period:- May to Aug

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Photographer:- Philip Hunt, Ardagh, Co. Limerick
Philip Hunt www.gardenplantsbypost.com
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