Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Stipa ramosissima

Common Name
Pillar of Smoke
CA Native
Plant Type
Grass or grass-like plant
6' - 7' High x 3' Wide
Flower Color
Bloom Time
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Winter
Deer Resistant
Rarely Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Seed and Fruit for Birds
Growth Rate
Adverse Growth Factors
Special Features
  • Showy Flowers
  • Specimen
Water Use
  • Drought Tolerant
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
  • Full Sun
Soil Type
Not Particular
Well Drained
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

This Australian beauty is stunning.  Its explosive and showy bloom can add instant drama to your garden.  Foliage is green with the thickness of a pencil and can reach 6 feet in height.  The flowers look as if designed by a fairy queen.  They appear throughout the foliage in sheer, wispy clouds that are abundant and create a lovely sheen when planted in groupings, particularly with back-lighting.  Flowers come in a silky bronze, fading to cream, blooming from February - September.

Master Gardener Comments

This is a columnar growing grass.  It's an eye-catching tall accent plant for the back of a garden or planted in a group as a beautiful border.   Also good in pots (if the pot is big enough!).  Good for coastal gardens and can tolerate wind and exposed sites.  Propagate from seed.  Heat and drought tolerant when established.

This columnar growing grass can reach a height of 6 feet with a 3 foot spread giving a bamboo-like feeling.  Showy flowerheads, silky bronze fading to cream, bloom in radiating whorls over a long period.  Grow in full sun, looks best with regular water.  Wind tolerant, good near the coast.  Striking tall accent.


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