Helictotrichon sempervirens

blue oat grass

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Outstanding Qualities

The narrow spikey, gray-blue foliage of blue oat grass forms a small, architectural mound and is particularly handsome in summer when the purplish brown seed heads top the leaf blades; by autumn these oat-like spikelets mature to a fetching wheat color. This evergreen grass grows fine in most well-drained soils, but also does well in poor, dry soil conditions and is drought tolerant once established. Plant as a single groundcover or mix with low-growing shrubs such as heaths (Erica cvs.) and heathers (Calluna cvs.).

Quick Facts

Plant Type: grass

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 2 ft. 0 in. (0.61 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 2 ft. 0 in. (0.61 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Flower Color: brown

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: drought tolerant when established

Seasonal Interest: year-round spikey blue foliage; wheat-colored seed heads in autumn

Resistant to: deer

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: gold, yellow, orange

Great Color Partners: blue, dark green, silver

Culture Notes
Blue oat grass prefers a location in full sun with well-drained or sandy soil. Once established it is fully drought tolerant. It does not respond well to cutting back. Instead, comb out old and dead grass blades by hand or with a hand rake in late winter.