Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Anemanthele lessoniana (Stipa arundinacea)

Common Name
New Zealand Wind Grass; Pheasant's Tail Grass
CA Native
Non-native
Plant Type
Grass or grass-like plant
Size
3' x 3'
Flower Color
Bloom Time
  • Constant
Leaves
Evergreen
Evergreen
Deer Resistant
Rarely Damaged
Wildlife Value
Growth Rate
Fast
Hardiness
Hardy
Adverse Growth Factors
None
Special Features
  • Erosion Control
  • Fall Color
  • Low Maintenance
Water Use
  • Drought Tolerant
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
Exposure
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
  • Shade
Soil Type
Not Particular
Drainage
Well Drained
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

This is a gorgeous, always colorful dense and arching plant whose foliage makes a great accent or beautiful backdrop.  Creating a large (3' x 3') graceful mound that moves in any breeze, adding energy and dynamism to the landscape.  If grown in shade, foliage is deep green but in sun will have olive, gold or amber tones.  Has rosy seedheads in summer and moves into a lovely bronze color in the fall.  From "down under."

Master Gardener Comments

Wind grass is self-sowing but has not been found to be invasive.  Most easily grown from seed.  Difficult to divide but can be divided in early spring.  This is a beautiful plant for massing on dry hillsides for erosion control  or for its beauty in your garden.  Beloved by designers in Australia and England and translated well here in California.  Good in pots.

Varietals

'Autumn Tints' - leaves orange/red in late summer

'Gold Hue' - leaves golden yellow in late summer

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