Tuesday, January 8, 2013

In Consideration

What we are looking at is the tall grass on the right. It is tall. I'd put it at fifteen feet. Notice too how the flower spikes are more than double the height of the grass itself. You have a medium sized grass with outrageously tall blooms. This grass has intrigued me from the first day I arrived to work in this garden.

There is one other place, an office complex, where I have seen a grass of similar stature like this. I have considered stopping in to get a shovel full.

My best guess is this is Saccharum ravennae, Ravenna or Plume Grass. I have a book that says it is a native grass. My interweb reading says it is from the Mediterranean and North Africa. I am also reading it is an invasive out west where there are plenty of dry soils low in organic matter that it prefers.

Why do I keep running into interesting plants of foreign origins and dubious habits?

What we are looking at is Hazelwood, NC, now part of the greater Waynesville metropolitan area. Beyond and up the mountain are a number of other gardens I tend.

I want this grass. Being a Saccharum makes it a relative of sugarcane. Ku'ulei A'ina should have some sugarcane. I wonder if the stems are sweet? I can find a dry, infertile, sunny place for it. Maybe I can use it to help hide a telephone pole. It would be interesting planted next to and contrasting with the shorter Miscanthus grass.

Next time I am there I may slip and fall with a shovel in hand. It also has to be cut back before spring. It is the last perennial standing in the garden as I have been putting it down for the winter.


Heaven Scent said...

Hi Christopher!
I would bet they wouldn't mind sharing a bit with you! Pretty spot to sit and enjoy the beauty of the area!


Christopher C. NC said...

Hi Siria. A tiny division won't hurt it at all. This would be a great view for the city lights.

Barry said...

Before I left Maui, I was researching some of the 130-plus varueties of sugarcane for use as a windbreak. I didn't even look at cold tolerance, though. You just might have an idea, there, though...

Lola said...

It sure would be an advantage to help hide or to distract attention. I do like those grasses. A tiny bit wouldn't be missed.

Lynn Hunt said...

I don't know that much about grasses but I love seeing your ideas on how to blend them in with the mountain landscape.

beverly said...

Bring your ax, not your shovel; if it is like Miscanthus!

Christopher C. NC said...

Barry you can get the sugarcane look no problem with giant reed grass, Arundo donax, though it spreads like a running bamboo. Beware.

Lola I think even with my pole painted red a little extra hiding can't hurt.

Lynn since I have the utility easement that must remain tree free, the grasses are great for the meadow effect.

Bev I find a sharp shovel works fine on miscanthus. It helps that I have planted it in deeper soil and less rocky spots.