Koeleria macrantha (Prairie Junegrass)


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Plant Description: Koeleria macrantha is a cool-season ornamental grass. This species has medium green to grayish green fine blades and is densely tufted with smooth, sometimes velvety stems. Leaves are basal, usually covered in fine hairs, and have slightly rolled-in margins. Lustrous, silver green seed heads are large and tapered, up to 5 inches long and hold tiny tan, branched spikelets which are sometimes tinted with purple. It flowers briefly in June, hence the name junegrass. In cooler summer climates it remains attractive until fall.

  • Height: 8-24"
  • Width: 9-18"
  • Watering needs: Moderate to dry
  • Sun needs: Full sun
  • Soil needs: gritty, rocky, well-drained soil
  • Bloom Time: June
  • Portland Plant List (Backyard Habitat Certification): Yes

Landscape Use and Ecological Function: In the wild, this native plant is scattered but locally abundant at low to high elevations, yet occasionally reaches higher altitudes in timberline meadows and exposed rocky slopes. It is more common in grasslands and open forests. This species is widespread across borders and continents. It is found in Europe and Asia and all over the United States and Canada, except to the warmer, southeastern states. Because it is sun-loving and drought-tolerant, it has been recently used in green roofs as well. It looks best growing in masses and as a companion for smaller prairie flowers.

*2nd photo by SevenOaks Nursery*

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