Giant Miscanthus at end of winter

No snow now in Minnesota.  Soon we will be cutting back the native grasses (to preserve native butterfly larvae) and burning the non-native ones.

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Blond Ambition wins award in Colorado

Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blond Ambition’ was recently selected as the 2016 overall grand winner of the Colorado Plant Select trials from 5 state evaluations. This is a great native plant that has been marginally hardy in Minnesota (it was selected from New Mexico) but even if it only grows as an annual, its an impressive showy plant. It’s shown below in a parking lot near Minneapolis, in mid October.

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Bald Eagle at Grass Collection

Sighted recently above the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Grass Collection was this bald eagle. Many birders enjoy the Arboretum, but this is a first time for me to see an eagle at the Grass Collection. Fun! img_6418

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Grass Collection featured on 2017 Calendar

Hoffman Nursery featured the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum on the cover in their 2017 calendar. John Hoffman and his progressive company in North Carolina has made a significant impact on landscape grasses in the U. S.

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Miscanthus Tree Decoration

Miscanthus flowers used as a tree garland decorate one of the ‘natural ornaments only’ trees at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

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Smoke Signal little bluestem

We are currently growing 14 different cultivars of little bluestem at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. One of the new forms is called Smoke Signal, with blue and red foliage in the summer and dark red foliage in the fall. Smoke Signal is 34-42 inches in height, and 25 inches wide…a nice size!
Along with Blue Heaven® the 45-55 inch tall Minnesota selection….these two cultivars are both upright, have good fall color and are the best of the 14 at the Arboretum for 2016. Many of the other cultivars have lodged or fallen over, have little or poor foliage color, or show little vigor.

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Smoke Signal little bluestem, October 2016

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Blue Heaven® October 2016

 

 

 

 

 

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2014 Ornamental Grass Sales Up 27%

Ornamental grass sales in the U. S. were up 27% according to the 2014 Census of Agriculture to $158,061,021 from $124, 261, 118 in 2009. In Minnesota gains were more modest, but were still up 12% to $1,956,265 from $1,740, 455 in 2009 (National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2014). Top 10 states with grass sales were:

CALIFORNIA $ 33,435,765
FLORIDA 29,977,489
GEORGIA 6,343,403
HAWAII 6,437,217
MARYLAND 5,884,271
MICHIGAN 6,053,800
NORTH CAROLINA 7,148,687
OREGON 5,049,548
TEXAS 6,222,950
WASHINGTON 3,380,508
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