Anemanthele lessoniana

Pheasant's tail grass

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial


Dramatic foliage, Attractive to wildlife


Half hardy

Skill level


photo by Dianna Jazwinski, copyright GAP Photos (54574)

Plant details

In summer this grass is streaked orange-brown and it then turns to orange brown all over in winter, when there may be less to catch your eye in the garden. The narrow, flat or inrolled leaves are dark green the rest of the year. It has a pleasing overall arching habit with interesting purple-green flower spikelets that hang down, almost touching the ground, from midsummer to early autumn. The seed-heads that follow provide a winter food source for finches and other seed-eating birds. Don't be put off growing it if you have a heavy soil. Plants may need winter prtection in colder gardens. To propagate, divide plants from mid-spring to early summer.

Family: Poaceae

Genus: Anemanthele

Species: lessoniana

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Dramatic foliage, Attractive to wildlife

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy

Hardiness: Half hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 100cm

Spread: 120cm

Time to divide plants: April to June

Reader reviews


Anemanthele lessoniana this grass is lovely , very effective grown in a clump

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