Imported Grasses

Imported Grasses are grasses which have been introduced into the United Kingdom from countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Mostly these grasses are grown by botanical institutions but there is now a trend for individual growers to want to grow these grasses and also to try and adapt them to suit our own climates and soil conditions.

Types of Grass

There are many different types of grass that can be imported and here are just a few.

Hakonechloa macra Alboaurea

Growing to around thirty-six inches in height, this grass is especially good at growing in partly shaded areas as well as in the sun. It fairs particularly well in chalky soils as well as clay, loamy or sandy soils but must be well drained to prevent water-logging. Normally the leaves have green and white stripes but in winter months they are tinged red.

Pennisetum Atropurpureum (Red Fountain Grass)

The Red Fountain Grass is a hardy perennial which flowers between the months of July and September. During that time they produce mosquito-shaped heads and flourish in direct sunlight in a well drained soil. These can be grown in borders or in pots around patios.

Phormium Jester

Again growing to a maximum height of thirty-six inches, the Phormium Jester requires well-drained soil and direct sunlight and during the summer months it will produce tall stems which are without leaves but produce seed heads. During the winter months the Phormium Jester can withstand drops in temperature. The maximum temperature the Phormium Jester can survive at in the winter months is minus 12oC (10.39oC Fahrenheit).

Phormium Rainbow Maiden (New Zealand Flax)

The Phormium Rainbow Maiden grass is similar to the Phormium Jester in that it reaches a maximum height of thirty-six inches and requires well-drained soil and direct sunlight. Also known as the New Zealand Flax, the Phormium Rainbow Maiden produces sword-shaped leaves and in the height of summer will produce small tubular flowers from which seeds can be extracted. Also like the Phormium Jester they can withstand a maximum temperature of minus 12oC (10.39oC Fahrenheit).

There are many different imported grasses to choose from and it is important to establish which one is right for your garden before you make a purchase.

It is worth noting that the position of your garden, in particular if you are facing north, south, east or west, is important as too is the amount of drainage in your soil. You may also need to ask questions as to which plant will fair best in the climates we are used to in the United Kingdom. You should be aware than most of these grasses, although imported, are nurtured initially in nurseries under specific conditions and removing them from these conditions and putting them into external surroundings can have an effect on their growth.

So if you do decide that an imported grass is for you then you should consult with your local garden centre and find out as much as you can before making any purchases.

It may also be necessary in the winter months to move such grasses as some of them still are not quite adjusted to our climates, you should also ask if this is necessary and if so what is the best way to go about it.

Also gaining knowledge as to which garden insects and animals are friendly to them is a distinct advantage.

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