“Grasses exemplify elegance”

This IMG_8017is the first sentence of a recent article by a well-know horticulturist….and yet I wondered…is this true? How many people would use the work ‘elegant’ to describe grasses..and this was an article on native grasses. Perhaps grasses have moved to a new level of sophistication! Shown at left is an elegant looking Indiangrass.

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Carex ‘Ice Dance’

‘Ice Dance’ is one of the best looking variegated sedges. It’s not super hardy in Minnesota and can look rough in the spring. Fortunately lots of new growth shows at the edges of the plant, and with some clean up the dead foliage can be easily removed. IMG_6750

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Slow start for little bluestem

What’s going on with some of the little bluestem? Why so slow to start this year? The above photos show well established healthy plants in 2016. On the right rodent damage in the middle of the plant…some of the crown is missing, eaten during the winter! Also, we cut these plants back this spring, did not burn them, did that mean a slower start for the crown to warm up ? May 31, 2017, will report how they look in 2 weeks.

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‘Straw Hat’ sedge

Carex pensylvania ‘Straw Hat’ has numerous, showy yellow flowers. An early bloomer, flowers appear in mid to late April in Minnesota. The plants shown above were plugs planted in 2016. ‘Straw Hat’ appears to be an improvement on the native species with many more flowers. Intrinsic Perennials introduction also available from Emerald Coast.

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30 years, 1987-2017, for the Arboretum’s Grass Collection

2017 marks the 30th Anniversary 1987-2017 for the Grass Collection at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum! We will be having events throughout the year, including Open Houses and classes, watch this blog and the Arboretum Facebook page for more information.  Plan now to see the grasses throughout the year.
August 24, 2017 4:00-8:00 PM OPEN HOUSE  at the Grass Collection
October 10, 2017 2:00-6:00 PM OPEN HOUSE at the Grass Collection

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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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