STIPA gigantea is one of the largest feather grasses and one of the most magnificent.
I’m the proud owner of two new plants (told you my abstinence wouldn’t last).
It is ironic that I’ve got rid of my lawn, only to replace it with borders built around huge grasses.
Its common name, golden oats, tells you all you need, looking like a giant version of the food crop.
The loose, open golden flower stems are held high above the foliage on stems 8ft high during June to August and persist well into the autumn and winter months. Despite the height, plants can be planted at the front/middle of borders, as they are translucent and move gracefully in the wind.
A native to Spain, Portugal and Morocco, it happily grows in Britain, hardy down to -15°C, though it will not survive the winter in waterlogged conditions.
Stipa is easily grown in moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. Add some grit while planting to ensure good drainage.
Plants establish quickly and, once growing well, need little attention apart from cutting back of the foliage in late winter before new growth comes through.