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Ravenna Grass

A giant ornamental grass, hardy for northern areas; spikes of silvery flower plumes with a hint of purple in late summer; spectacular fall display of orange, tan, purple, and the dried stalks add lovely winter interest. Not invasive in Zone 5 climates.

Characteristics

Average Landscape Height:
5 feet (12 feet with the flowers)
Average Landscape Width:
8 feet
Growth Rate:
fast
Genus:
Erianthus
Species:
ravennae
Flower Color:
silver
Flower Period:
in late summer
Summer Foliage Color:
gray green
Fall Color:
harvest
Minimum Light:
full sun
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Moisture:
dry
Maximum Moisture:
moist
Plant Form:
upright spreading
Canopy:
low
Pruning:
spring cleanup
Pollution Tolerance:
high
Other Species Names:
Plume Grass, Hardy Pampas Grass
Branching:
herbaceous
Density:
dense
Flower Form:
hop

Ornamental Features

Ravenna Grass features airy plumes of silver hop-like flowers with a purple flare at the ends of the stems in late summer. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its attractive grassy leaves are grayish green in color. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous harvest gold in the fall.

Landscape Attributes

Ravenna Grass is a dense herbaceous perennial grass with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

Planting & Growing

Ravenna Grass will grow to be about 5 feet tall at maturity extending to 12 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 8 feet. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in sandy soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

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