I'm starting to appreciate grasses more. I think this new appreciation started at Kew Gardens in London (you can click the link to read a previous post about it). Scott Weber's blog at Rhone Street Gardens also provides continuous inspiration regarding the beauty and creative uses of grasses in a garden setting.
|Lovely view we happened upon during a hike earlier this summer.|
One of my favorite native, local grasses is Purple Love Grass (Erogrostis spectabilis). (Isn't that a great Latin name?)
When oblique late-summer light hits it just right, Purple Love Grass is a stunning sight to behold.
|Bright pink cloud.|
Depending on its stage during the growing season and the way the light hits it, tufts of this grass appear bright green, purple, pink, or bright pink.
|Our meadow: E. spectabilis starting to brown, but still lovely.|
Interestingly, we have a naturally occurring patch of it up at the cottage. It stretches through our property, between the properties of the neighbors on both sides. They were friends--two couples who've since moved away and/or moved on. But the Purple Love Grass remains. Isn't that sweet?
The neighbors had asked if we minded if they walked through our property to visit each other, and we said "No problem, feel free!" I'm glad, because this beautiful grass, along with a collection of mostly native perennials has created a lovely meadow where their path once traveled.
Purple Love Grass is native to much of the Eastern U.S.--from the Dakotas and points east, south to Arizona, Texas, and Florida. It's also native in parts of Mexico, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden. It prefers sandy or well-drained soil, with dry to medium precipitation. It grows best in sunny locations. It tolerates drought and Black Walnut trees (which we have in abundance at the cottage).
The foliage reaches a height of about 10 inches. Then, in late summer pinkish/purple flowers appear, and form a cloud of beauty up to a height of about two feet.
Another attribute--Purple Love Grass is photogenic: