Documents: Container & Small Space Gardening:

Ornamental Grasses for Dried Arrangements
by Muriel Neale
October 24, 2004

For gardeners who love to preserve their floral bounty, the inflorescence (flowers) of ornamental grasses are excellent in dried floral arrangements, either by themselves or combined with other plant material.

Below is a list of recommended grasses:

  • Miscanthus purpurascens

  • Pennisetum alopecuroides

  • Bouteloua gracilis

  • Calamagrostis - all are superb

  • Chasmanthium latifolium - absolutely stunning seedheads

  • Deschampsia - bright tan color Elymus

  • Helichtotrichon sempervirens - a thin flower but is wonderful in fresh floral bouquets

  • Koeleria

  • Luzula nivea

  • Miscanthus - all are excellent

  • Panicum - another thin flower but is very useful as a filler

  • Pennisetum - must be cut early, just as the pollen is forming, is not long-lasting

  • Schizachyrium

  • Sorghastrum

  • Sporobolus

  • Stipa

For dried arrangements the stems should be cut when the blossom is full but before the seeds are fully developed (so they do not drop off). That way you prevent the need for a fixative.

Try mixing substantial blossoms such as Miscanthus with the fine ones of Molinia or Panicum.

Panicum is wonderful cut as a fresh flower and mixed in a vase with Phlox paniculata. Then when the Phlox is finished simply allow the Panicum to dry for winter use.

Ever think of using some of these stems for outside decoration? Tie a bundle of Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster' stems to a post. Miscanthus and Calamagrostis look wonderful added to your outdoor winter arrangements.

My favorite combination is Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster' with rosehips.

visit Bluestem at




  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row