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Northern Lights Tufted Hair Grass

Deschampsia cespitosa 'Northern Lights'

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Northern Lights Tufted Hair Grass (Deschampsia cespitosa 'Northern Lights') at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Deschampsia cespitosa 'Northern Lights' foliage

Deschampsia cespitosa 'Northern Lights' foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  10 inches

Flower Height:  15 inches

Spread:  15 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Description:

Grown for it's grassy variegated foliage in green and cream, tinged with pink in cooler weather; beautiful accent in containers; smaller plant also good in borders and smaller spaces

Ornamental Features

Northern Lights Tufted Hair Grass's attractive grassy leaves are green in color with showy creamy white variegation and tinges of pink. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous pink in the fall. It features subtle spikes of tan flowers rising above the foliage in mid summer. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Northern Lights Tufted Hair Grass is an open herbaceous evergreen perennial grass with a mounded form. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Northern Lights Tufted Hair Grass is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Northern Lights Tufted Hair Grass will grow to be about 10 inches tall at maturity extending to 15 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 15 inches. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider covering it with a thick layer of mulch in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Northern Lights Tufted Hair Grass is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers and foliage against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Massing  Rock  Edging  Garden  Groundcover  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color  Fall Color  Texture 
Ornamental Features