There's so much that changes in the MG landscape throughout the year...we thought a plant trial and garden blog was the best way to start sharing "what's new" and "what's happening with all those new varieties" with you! Visit often for updates on how trial plants are performing in the gardens and to see photos throughout the season as we grow and change!

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog
Astilbe 'Vision in Red' with Hosta 'Patriot' and Carex 'Ice Dance'

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Wonderful World of Seedheads!

Here we are at the beginning of September, and after a deluge of rain, the grasses are strutting their stuff. Sorghastrum Sioux Blue with it's yellow flowers will brighten up my days for the next week or so. Here are some of the interesting grasses I saw as I walked the landscape this morning.
Miscanthus sinensis 'Silberfeder'
Probably the most common of the Maiden Grasses, Silberfeder always shines this time of year. Standing 6-8' tall in the gardens, it's hard not to notice. The silver seed heads will last all winter, though they begin to take on a straw-like color in the middle of fall.

Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'
I'm sure everyone is familiar with Karl Foerster. I sometimes give it a hard time because everyone uses it, but it is still an excellent plant. If it has a use for nearly all landscape contractors, it must be a good plant, right? The most fascinating thing about Karl Foerster is the length of bloom time. Starting much earlier than most grasses, and continueing to look good throughout winter.

Andropogon gerardii
Big bluestem is certainly worthy of this column. This is the time of year its' other common name comes to play. Turkey Foot! You can see the tops of the seed heads take on the shape of, you guessed it, a turkey foot!!! Nice fall and winter color, this staple of the Midwest Prairie is calling you. Gobble Gobble!

Pennisetum 'Red Head'
I had great expectations for this plant. Fabulously large flower heads are beginning to appear now above large foliage to 3' tall. The finished plant will be in the neighborhod of 4' tall, depending on your soil conditions. This spring however, the plant that had overwintered the previous two winters was not looking quite the same. It had become a Cul de sac with it's only live growth coming from the outer edges of the plant. It was a tough winter, so there is a chance that it was a fluke.

Sporobolus heterolepis
I can't talk about seedheads on grasses without bringing up the Prairie Dropseed. Pictured here, it is planted with Echinacea pallida which gives a very nice appearance. Though not for everyone, these plants are incredibly fragrant. Depending on what kind of nose you have, it smells like buttered popcorn or cilantro. I personally feel it smells like the cilantro. Fantastic plant for fantastic places.
-Alright, so I've been told to leave a tease for the next blog posting. If you would like to see the seed heads from the Sorghastrum Sioux Blue, you better stay tuned for the next posting. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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