Purple moor grass, Molinia caerulea, is a terrific British native ornamental grass, forming large clumps of erect leaves, from which tall spikes of purple flowers emerge in summer. Because it has a gentle, see-through look it's ideal for growing at the front of a border, filtering views to the plants behind. In autumn the foliage becomes electric yellow.
There are plenty of excellent cultivars to choose from, including the elegant 'Windspiel', the taller 'Skyracer', and the superb 'Karl Foerster'. New plants can take a while to get established, but once they do, they quickly bulk up. For best results, grow Molinia caerulea in moist but well-drained soil in sun or partial shade.
Plant type: Hardy perennial
Flower colour: Purple
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Feature: Dramatic foliage
Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade
Soil: Well-drained/light, Moist
Skill level: Beginner
Time to divide plants: April to April
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