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Stipa gigantea

Giant feather grass

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial

Flower colour

Light green


Attractive seed-heads



Skill level


Stipa gigantea

Plant details

This is a very striking evergreen grass that forms a spiky clump of arching deep green foliage from which a huge sheaf of very long-stemmed, oat-like flower-heads erupts in mid-summer, up to 1.8m (6ft) high. When mature, these splay apart to make a wide fountain shape that almost hides the plant. The seed-heads dry out naturally on the plant and persist into early winter, where they make a good architectural feature, especially when outlined in frost. This is an excellent alternative to pampas grass as a lawn specimen in small gardens, and perfect in a border or a gravel garden. It is found growing wild in Spain and Portugal. To propagate, divide plants from mid-spring to early summer. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it their prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Family: Poaceae

Genus: Stipa

Species: gigantea

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Flower colour: Light green

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Attractive seed-heads

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light, Moist

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 250cm

Spread: 120cm

Time to divide plants: April to June

Flowering period: June to July

Reader reviews


We grow this in our garden and it is beautiful. Unfortunately we live on the top of a hill approx 230 feet above sea level on the coast and sometimes summer gales can break the flags. However the older it gets and the more flags it has the better it is able to withstand the gales. Well worth growing.

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