Xerophyllum tenax (Beargrass)


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Plant Description: A tall growing evergreen perennial wildflower. Long and slender sage-olive green leaves grow from a bunch at the base of the plant. Beargass forms flowers every 5-10 years with tall stalks reaching up to 5 feet tall with long slender leaves growing up the stalks. Flowers are creamy white clusters, often cone shaped, forming at the top of each stalk with a light fragrance. Leaves have historically been used by Indigenous tribes for weaving and basket making. Spreads by rhizome. 

  • Height: 1-5 ft
  • Width: 1-3ft
  • Watering needs: moist
  • Sun needs: full-part sun, dappled shade
  • Soil needs: moist, well-draining, clay or peat heavy
  • Bloom Time: Spring-early summer
  • Portland Plant List (Backyard Habitat Certification): No

Landscape Use and Ecological Function: Beargrass is such a striking species, but can be a challenge to bloom so should be undisturbed whenever possible. Excellent in a wildflower meadow or open woodland setting. 


*Photo courtesy of SevenOaks Nursery

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