Common Name: purple moor grass
Type: Ornamental grass
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.50 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: Purple tinged
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to wet
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Leaf: Colorful, Good Fall
Tolerate: Erosion, Wet Soil, Black Walnut, Air Pollution
Easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soil in full sun. Prefers acidic soils with consistent moisture. Tolerates light shade, particularly in the South, but is generally less vigorous with decreased flowering in too much shade. Decreased flowering may also occur in hot summer climates. Best performance of this grass generally occurs in cool summer climates. Unlike many of the ornamental grasses, the foliage and flower stalks of purple moor grass typically break down and fall over in late fall, providing little winter interest. Cut any surviving foliage back to the ground in early spring just before the new leaf blades appear. This grass is a slow-grower, hence small starter divisions should be avoided unless one has the patience to wait several years for the plant to mature.
‘Variegata’ is a clump-forming purple moor grass that, as the cultivar name suggests, features variegated yellowish-white striped leaf blades (to 3/8” wide). Leaves form a compact 15-18” tall clump. Although mature plants may produce profuse numbers of erect to slightly arching flowering stems, the flowering stems have a certain transparent quality. The common name is somewhat confusing, however, because “purple” is a reference to the fact that new flowers have a slight, albeit often unnoticed, purple tinge. The yellow-tan-purple flowers appear in early summer atop stalks rising above the foliage (to 2.5’). As seed sets, the flower spikes turn an attractive yellow-tan. Foliage also turns yellow in fall. Species plants are native to moors of Europe and Asia.
No serious insect or disease problems. Slow growth.
Versatile ornamental grass. Accent, specimen, grouping or mass. Borders, meadows, wild gardens, cottage gardens and around ponds. See-through quality of this grass enables placement in border fronts.