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Get to Know Molinia—Trial Results

It’s well-behaved, hardy as heck, and stunningly beautiful, so find the best one for you

Fine Gardening - Issue 184
Molinia caerulea ssp. arundinacea 'Skyracer' (tall purple moor grass).

Grasses are dynamic garden plants. Whether large or small, for structure, motion, sound, and even light, grasses are unparalleled in their effect, and their charm increases tenfold when massed. Molinia, also known as purple moor grass, is no exception; in fact, its fountainesque form and tall stature exemp­lify the best attributes of grasses. It is especially prized in Europe—evident in so many of the cultivar names—but somewhat underappreciated here. With Miscanthus sinensis rightfully out of favor due to its invasive nature, molinia merits greater attention.

Promoting nonnative grasses can be a hot-button issue. I get it in the case of miscanthus and even fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides and cvs., Zones 4–9), but from my experience, molinia isn’t worri­some and is a good substitute for wayward grasses. Of course, I concede to anyone who has had it escape in their landscape; molinia has found its way into scattered natural…

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  1. CecileNader 01/08/2020

    No doubt hard work pay out and here you grew really exceptional plants and flower which made me crazy to have them in my own lawn. I just visited ukessay website to get my thesis completed on botany. I think it is important to have good knowledge of plants before growing them.

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