43 Different Types Of Grass – Choose The Right Lawn For Your Yard

Types of lawn grass with names and pictures

Grass is a timeless landscaping element. It provides a green mattress that looks so refreshing to the eye.

It is organic but it requires effort for it to be maintained. Of course, there is a need for it to be watered every now and then and other maintenance stuff to keep the green area, well, green. But some grass types are low maintenance.

Thus, in this article, we will explore various grass types which you can consider later on for your own turf. 

#1. Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon)

Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon)

If you want a dense looking lawn, this is the go-to grass for that. Its deep green, pointed leaves have a fast growing rhizome root system that will cover your lawn and athletic fields well.

It is a warm season grass but is drought, salt and traffic tolerant. It requires frequent watering and needs high nutrients and has to be cut every now and then

  • Botanical Name: Cynodon dactylon
  • Common name: Bermuda grass, star grass, devil’s grass, coast cross, Indian couch
  • Plant type: Perennial, weed, turf grass
  • Mature size: 4-12”
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil type: Clay, loam (silt), sand, shallow rocky
  • Soil pH: Moderately acidic, slightly alkaline, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Non-flowering
  • Flower color: Raceme
  • Hardiness zones: 7-10
  • Native Area: East Africa, India

Read also: 21 Types of Bermuda Grass

#2. Centipede grass (Eremochloa ophiuroides)

Centipede grass (Eremochloa ophiuroides)

It is also a good turf grass that will make the lawn dense. It is known for its green, notched leaves that grow horizontally.

Like Bermuda, it is a warm season grass which needs frequent watering. But like it too, it could tolerate high traffic and can be cut very short for it to be mowed less frequently. 

  • Botanical Name: Eremochloa ophiuroides
  • Common name: Centipede grass
  • Plant type: Perennial, turf grass, stolonic 
  • Mature size: 10”
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Clay, loam (silt), sand, shallow rocky
  • Soil pH: Moderately acidic
  • Bloom time:  Non-flowering
  • Flower color: Raceme
  • Hardiness zones: 7-10
  • Native Area: Southeast Asia, South America, Africa

Read also: How to grow Centipede grass

#3. St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum)

St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum)

It is one of the most resilient and pest resistant grass available. It is known as slow growing grass with wide, coarse leaves with rounded tips.

It loves sandy soil but needs to be watered frequently. It can provide a grassy cushion for the lawn and can tolerate high foot traffic too. 

  • Botanical Name: Stenotaphrum secundatum
  • Common name: St. Augustine grass, carpet grass
  • Plant type: Perennial, ornamental grass, turf grass
  • Mature size: 6-12”
  • Sun exposure: Full sun 
  • Soil type: Sand, moist, occasionally dry
  • Soil pH: Moderately acidic, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Fall, summer
  • Flower color: Green
  • Hardiness zones: 8-10
  • Native Area: Southeastern USA,  Central America, Africa

Related: Types of St. Augustine grass and growing guide

#4. Zoysia grass

Zoysia grass

It is another warm season grass with stiff and coarse leaves. It is slow growing, requires full sun and turns dormant during the colder seasons.

It will turn green again when the warmer seasons come. It can tolerate infrequent watering. 

  • Botanical Name: 
  • Common name: Zoysia
  • Plant type: Perennial grass, turf grass
  • Mature size: 6-12”
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil type: Rocky, clay with good drainage
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic
  • Bloom time:  Insignificant
  • Flower color: Insignificant
  • Hardiness zones: 5-10
  • Native Area: Korea

#5. Dichondra – Kidney weed

Dichondra - Kidney weed

Technically, it is not a type of grass but because it sprouts and has grass like characteristics during the warm season, it is clustered among grasses.

It is a flowering plant and is actually related to morning glories. But it has creeping stems and deep green leaves that need to be fertilized and trimmed often. 

  • Botanical Name: Dichondra argentea
  • Common name: Kidney weed, silver nickel vine
  • Plant type: trailing herbaceous perennial, ground cover
  • Mature size: 4”
  • Sun exposure: Dappled sunlight to full sun
  • Soil type: Loam (silt), sand, good draining 
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic
  • Bloom time:  Spring 
  • Flower color: Yellow, white, green
  • Hardiness zones: 10b-12a
  • Native Area: USA, Mexico

#6. Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana)

Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana)

This grass type is known to grow in large clumps with white, feather like plumes. It is used as ornamental grass in wide landscape areas.

They are easy to grow, drought tolerant and very low maintenance especially when it has its roots established. This is also the reason why it can be invasive when uncontrolled. 

  • Botanical Name: Cortaderia selloana
  • Common name: Pampas grass
  • Plant type: Ornamental grass
  • Mature size: 8-12 feet
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil type: Sand, loam (silt), well-draining soil
  • Soil pH: slightly acidic
  • Bloom time:  Spring, summer
  • Flower color: Cream, gray-silver, tan, pink, white
  • Hardiness zones: 7-10
  • Native Area: South America

#7. Monkey grass (Liriope spicata)

Monkey grass (Liriope spicata)

It is tolerant to high heat, heavy shade, high foot traffic and deer/rabbit breaching as it is somewhat poisonous to critters.

The downside is that, it could be invasive when uncontrolled. It has dark green leaves in the summer and spring that will turn bronze green during the winter. It is a popular choice as a lawn alternative. 

  • Botanical Name: Liriope spicata
  • Common name: Monkey grass, creeping liriope, lily grass
  • Plant type: Herbaceous perennial, ornamental grass, turf grass
  • Mature size: 9-18”
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade 
  • Soil type: Sand, clay, loam (silt), average, well-draining
  • Soil pH: Neutral to slightly acidic
  • Bloom time:  Fall, summer
  • Flower color: white, lavender
  • Hardiness zones: 4-10
  • Native Area: Southeast Asia, China, Japan

#8. Bahia grass (Paspalum notatum)

Bahia grass (Paspalum notatum)

It is generally used as pasture grass but is also good as ground cover.

It is a survivor being able to adapt to various soil types and is tolerant to high sun and shade. Once it has established roots, it will overthrow weeds. It is also very resistant to a lot of pests including critters. 

  • Botanical Name: Paspalum notatum
  • Common name: Bahiagrass
  • Plant type: Pasture/forage plant, turf grass, ground cover, ornamental
  • Mature size: 3 feet
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: sand, rocky, well-draining
  • Soil pH: slightly acidic, high nitrogen
  • Bloom time:  None
  • Flower color: None 
  • Hardiness zones: 8-11
  • Native Area: Central and South America, Midwest USA

#9. Mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus)

Mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus)

It is a perennial with tuberous roots and it belongs to the lily family and not in the grass cluster. However, it is a good ground cover like grass because it is stemless, meaning that the leaves grow in the ground in clumps.

It will thrive in partial shade and shall bear bell-shaped flowers.  

  • Botanical Name: Ophiopogon japonicus
  • Common name: Mondo grass, dwarf lilyturf 
  • Plant type: Herbaceous perennial, ground cover
  • Mature size: 9-12”
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Clay, loam, sand, rich, moist and well-drained
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic
  • Bloom time:  Spring
  • Flower color: White, pink, purple/lavender
  • Hardiness zones: 6-10
  • Native Area: China, Korea and Japan

#10. Fine fescue grass (Festuca spp.)

Fine fescue grass (Festuca spp.)

This is an umbrella term for many types of turf grass but generally they are a fast-growing grass with thin, pointed leaves.

It does not grow well under full sun and full shade making it endemic in northern regions, thus, considered as a cold season grass. It is commonly used for lawn mixed seeds along with blue and red ryegrass. It has more than twenty cultivars. 

  • Botanical Name: Festuca spp. 
  • Common name: Fine fescue
  • Plant type: Turf grass, ornamental grass
  • Mature size: 
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Clay, loam, sand, high-nutrient, moist, well-draining
  • Soil pH: Moderately acidic, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Spring
  • Flower color: Gold, yellow
  • Hardiness zones: 7-10
  • Native Area: North America, South America, Mexico

#11. Crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis)

Crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis)

It is a summer annual, fast-growing turfgrass that could easily become invasive when uncontrolled. It is tough with many stems or legs, hence, the name.

It is short and can evade lawn mowers. It is quite indestructible, making it good for areas with high foot traffic and its deep green, coarse leaves can grow to up to 5”. 

  • Botanical Name: Digitaria sanguinalis
  • Common name: Crab grass, finger grass
  • Plant type: Annual, weed, turf grass
  • Mature size: 3-6”
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Loam (silt), moist
  • Soil pH: Moderately acidic, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Fall, summer
  • Flower color: Brown/copper, green
  • Hardiness zones: 2b-11a
  • Native Area: Eurasia

Related: How to get rid of crabgrass

#12. Fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)

Fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)

It is called as such because of its slender, arching leaves that will bear brown/tan, brush-like, spiky flowers as they go dry.

It grows in clumps and is tolerant to drought and cold. It is also fire-resistant and can recover easily when damaged. It is cultivated as an ornamental grass and is one of the most popular in this category. 

  • Botanical Name: Pennisetum alopecuroides; Cenchrus alopecuroides
  • Common name: Fountain grass, Hameln
  • Plant type: Clumping perennial, ornamental grass
  • Mature size: 3-6 feet
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: good drainage, occasionally wet, occasionally dry
  • Soil pH: moderately acidic, slightly alkaline, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Fall, summer
  • Flower color: cream/tan, pink, white, purple
  • Hardiness zones: 5b-9a
  • Native Area: Africa and South Asia

#13. Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis)

Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis)

It is by far the most popular cool season grass because it is ‘self-repairing’ or quickly overgrows damaged spots.

It is resilient as it can tolerate high foot traffic and lawn mowers. It will grow well with full sun and partial shade but will have growth struggles in full shade. It has distinct deep green, V-shaped leaves. 

  • Botanical Name: Poa pratensis
  • Common name: KBG, Kentucky bluegrass
  • Plant type: Dense perennial, turf grass
  • Mature size: 12-24”
  • Sun exposure: Full sun, partial shade
  • Soil type: well-drained, fertile, slightly coarse
  • Soil pH: Moderately acidic
  • Bloom time:  Fall, spring
  • Flower color: Greenish white
  • Hardiness zones: 3a-7a
  • Native Area: Europe, North Asia, Algeria and Morocco

#14. Buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides)

Buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides)

It is a short perennial prairie grass used for pasture lands and sod feeder. It is drought and shade tolerant forming a dense, thick turf.

It is also cultivated as lawn/ornamental grass but it could go brown and dormant in the winter which gives homeowners second thoughts.  

  • Botanical Name: Bouteloua dactyloides
  • Common name: Buffalo grass
  • Plant type: Perennial, forage grass, ornamental grass
  • Mature size: 3-12”
  • Sun exposure: Full sun, partial shade
  • Soil type: clay, loam, moist
  • Soil pH: slightly acidic
  • Bloom time:  Fall, summer
  • Flower color: Yellow
  • Hardiness zones: 3-9
  • Native Area: Canada, USA, Mexico 

#15. Pink muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris)

Pink muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris)

It is a popular ornamental grass famous for its pink flowers and white plumes blooming during the winter and fall.

It grows in clumps making it a good addition to native gardens and borders. It is perennial, fast growing and low maintenance. 

  • Botanical Name: Muhlenbergia capillaris
  • Common name: Sweet grass, mist grass
  • Plant type: Perennial, ornamental grass, native plant
  • Mature size: 3 feet
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: sandy, rocky, medium moisture, well-drained
  • Soil pH: moderately acidic, slightly alkaline
  • Bloom time:  Fall, summer
  • Flower color: pink, purple, lavender, burgundy
  • Hardiness zones: 5-9
  • Native Area: Central USA, Guatemala, the Carribean

#16. Foxtail grass

It is known as a warm season, ornamental grass with arching leaves and grows in clumps. It will have pink plumes in the summer.

It can tolerate full sun with enough moisture and is resistant to common grass feeders like deer. 

  • Botanical Name: Calamagrostis brachytricha
  • Common name: Foxtail grass, diamond grass, reed grass
  • Plant type: Arching/clumping perennial, ornamental grass
  • Mature size: 3-4 ft
  • Sun exposure: Full sun, partial shade
  • Soil type: Clay, loam (silt), occasionally wet
  • Soil pH: slightly acidic
  • Bloom time:  Fall, winter
  • Flower color: Pink, purple/lavender, cream
  • Hardiness zones: 4-9
  • Native Area: Central and Eastern Asia

#18. Perennial ryegrass

It is also a popular cool season grass because it germinates quicker than its other cool season counterparts.

It does well in both full sun and full shade and is resilient to high foot traffic. It has thin, pointed leaves and is commonly mixed with Kentucky bluegrass to produce more shade tolerant turf.

  • Botanical Name: Lolium perenne
  • Common name: English/Italian ryegrass
  • Plant type: Turf grass
  • Mature size: 2-3 ft
  • Sun exposure: Full sun, partial shade
  • Soil type: Sand, clay, loam (silt), well-draining
  • Soil pH: Acidic, alkaline
  • Bloom time:  Insignificant
  • Flower color: Insignificant
  • Hardiness zones: 2-8
  • Native Area: Central Asia, Middle East, North Africa and Southern Europe

#19. Tall fescue grass

Unlike other cool season grass types, this one is good under dry and hot weather conditions.

It has dark green, coarse and thick grass which can tolerate high foot traffic and mowing equipment. It is a beautiful turf grass but grows in clusters occasionally. 

  • Botanical Name: Festuca arundinacea
  • Common name: Tall fescue grass
  • Plant type: Perennial, ornamental grass, turf grass
  • Mature size: 4-12”
  • Sun exposure: Full sun, partial shade
  • Soil type: clay, loam, moist, well-draining
  • Soil pH: Moderately acidic, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Fall and spring
  • Flower color: none
  • Hardiness zones: 3-8
  • Native Area: Europe

#20. Timothy grass

It is a cool season grass known for being single stemmed and short lived. It is a perennial that grows in clumps and an important pasture grass in Europe and Asia.

It has fibrous roots with brush-like plumes. It is fast growing and can be considered invasive when uncontrolled. 

  • Botanical Name: Phleum pratense
  • Common name: Timothy grass
  • Plant type: Herbaceous perennial, forage grass
  • Mature size: 20-40”
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Sand, loam, tilled, well-draining
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Summer, spring
  • Flower color: Pink, green, white
  • Hardiness zones: 3-9
  • Native Area: Europe, Asia and North Africa

#21. Quack grass

It is a perennial grass, often considered as weed because of its persistence, and is endemic in northern temperate areas.

It is cultivated as forage grass and for erosion control but it is also a good turf grass. It has flat, hairy leaves with white, yellow spiky flowers. 

  • Botanical Name: Elymus repens
  • Common name: Couch grass, quack grass
  • Plant type: Forage grass, turf grass
  • Mature size: 12-40”
  • Sun exposure: Full sun, partial shade
  • Soil type: Sand, loam, occasionally wet
  • Soil pH: Neutral to slightly alkaline
  • Bloom time:  Fall
  • Flower color: White, green
  • Hardiness zones: 3-8
  • Native Area: Europe and Western Asia

#22. Lemon grass

It is a very versatile grass as it can be used as ornamental, turf grass, extracted as essential oil and as herb for cuisines especially in Asia and Mexico.

It has high medicinal values and an organic way to ward off mosquitoes and other insects. As a grass, it grows in clumps and is known for its blade-like leaves and stiff stems. 

  • Botanical Name: Cymbopogon citratus
  • Common name: Oil grass, lemon grass
  • Plant type: Ornamental grass, herb, medicinal plant
  • Mature size: 4ft
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil type: Loam, rich, moist, good drainage
  • Soil pH: Neutral to slightly alkaline
  • Bloom time:  None
  • Flower color: None
  • Hardiness zones: 8b-11a
  • Native Area: India, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia

#23. Mexican feather grass

It is a dense growing grass known for its feather-like texture that sways with the wind. It is self-sowing and low maintenance.

It is also drought tolerant and can accomodate high foot traffic. It is used for erosion control and it is best paired with ornamentals and succulents. 

  • Botanical Name: Nassella tenuissima; Stipa tenacissima
  • Common name: Needle grass, Mexican feather grass
  • Plant type: Ornamental grass, cascading/clumping perennial
  • Mature size: 2ft
  • Sun exposure: Full sun, partial shade
  • Soil type: Clay, loam (silt), sand, moist to very dry
  • Soil pH: Acidic, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Fall, spring
  • Flower color: White, silver-gray
  • Hardiness zones: 5b-10a
  • Native Area: South/Central USA, Argentina, Mexico

#24. Japanese forest grass

It is known for its clumping growth and exotic habit. Its leaves are variegated with either green or gold color and it has slender, bamboo-looking stalks.

It is not drought tolerant and may require very frequent watering during the dry season. It is a beautiful accent grass for vibrant garden flowers. 

  • Botanical Name: Hakonechloa macra
  • Common name: Samurai
  • Plant type: Deciduous, ornamental grass
  • Mature size: 3ft
  • Sun exposure: Part shade
  • Soil type: Loam, humus, moist, well-drained 
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic, alkaline, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Summer
  • Flower color: Insignificant spikes
  • Hardiness zones: 5-9
  • Native Area: Mt. Hakone, Japan

#25. Sweet grass

It is known as a native American herb harvested for its vanilla scent to be used for incense for sacred rituals and as fragrance.

It is a native perennial with rough-edged leaves and hairy undersides. It is a cool season grass but can tolerate heat. 

  • Botanical Name: Hierochloe odorata
  • Common name: Dune hairgrass, purple muhly, sweet grass
  • Plant type: Native plant, ornamental grass
  • Mature size: 3ft
  • Sun exposure: Full sun, partial shade
  • Soil type: Loam, clay, moist, occasionally wet
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Fall
  • Flower color: Pink, purple
  • Hardiness zones: 3-9
  • Native Area: Southeastern USA

#26. Zebra grass

It is known for its green and yellow stripes that look like porcupine spikes. It is an upright grass that dies in the winter and comes back straight in the spring even when untrimmed.

It is a striking ornamental grass because it grows flowers that look like plumeria or hibiscus. It is drought and erosion resistant. 

  • Botanical Name: Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’
  • Common name: Porcupine grass, zebra grass
  • Plant type: Ornamental grass, 
  • Mature size: 5-8 ft
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil type: All soil types
  • Soil pH: Acidic, alkaline, neutral
  • Bloom time: Fall 
  • Flower color: Brown, pink, burgundy
  • Hardiness zones: 5-9
  • Native Area: Japan, Korea, China 

#27. Blue eyed grass

It is a low-growing flowering plant that grows in clumps in marshes, banks and damp regions that is why it is clustered in the grass lineup.

It is known for its blue-violet flowers. It can tolerate almost all weather conditions and is a good accent plant to cottage types and native designs. 

  • Botanical Name: Sisyrinchium angustifolium
  • Common name: Grass flower
  • Plant type: Ornamental, perennial native plant, wild flower, ground cover
  • Mature size: 2ft
  • Sun exposure: Dappled sunlight to full sun, partial shade
  • Soil type: loam, sand, moist, occasionally dry, well-draining
  • Soil pH: Moderately acidic, alkaline, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Spring, summer
  • Flower color: Blue, purple, gold/yellow
  • Hardiness zones: 4a-9a
  • Native Area: North America

#28. Karl foerster grass

It is known for its feather-like plumes, low growing requirements and tolerance for compact soils. It is also sought-after because it will not reseed, hence, not that invasive.

It is a beautiful ornamental grass in a wide landscape. It is drought resistant and wards off deer and other critters. 

  • Botanical Name: Calamagrostis arundinacea ‘Karl Foerster’
  • Common name: Feather reed grass, Karl Foerster
  • Plant type: Ornamental grass, clumping perennial
  • Mature size: 3-5 ft
  • Sun exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Soil type: Clay, normal, sandy
  • Soil pH: acidic, alkaline, neutral
  • Bloom time:  year round
  • Flower color: Cream, gold/yellow, purple
  • Hardiness zones: 5-9 
  • Native Area: Europe

#29. Orchard grass

It is fast growing, cool season grass that grows in bunches. It is a famous pasture, forage and hay grass in Europe and in the US.

It is good for erosion control with its non-rhizomatous roots. It is considered invasive because it survives in many types of soil. It is disease and erosion resistant and likes to be chewed on by cats and a good livestock feed. 

  • Botanical Name: Dactylis glomerata
  • Common name: cat grass
  • Plant type: Perennial weed, pasture/forage grass, wildlife cover
  • Mature size: 5ft
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: clay, loam
  • Soil pH: Acidic, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Fall, summer
  • Flower color: Gold, yellow
  • Hardiness zones: 4a-8a
  • Native Area: Micronesia, Mediterranean, temperate climates in Asia and Europe, Africa

Read also: Straw vs hay

#30. Maiden grass

It is a famous ornamental grass under the Miscanthus family known for its arching, graceful stalks and plumes.

It has deep green foliage in the summer and burgundy in fall. It is a good accent grass for driveways and flower beds. It can tolerate both sun and shade. It repels insects and deer and is essentially disease resistant. 

  • Botanical Name: Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’
  • Common name: Silver grass
  • Plant type: Ornamental grass
  • Mature size: 6ft
  • Sun exposure: Full sun, partial shade
  • Soil type: Clay, sand, loam (silt), moist to dry, well-draining
  • Soil pH: Acidic
  • Bloom time:  Fall
  • Flower color: Copper, gray, burgundy
  • Hardiness zones: 5-9
  • Native Area: Korea, China, Japan

#31. Bear grass

It is a clump-growing, coarse grass with an unbranched stem, rising from a tuber-like root stock.

It is cultivated as ornamental grass and for flower arrangements because of its oblong, white flowers that bloom in the summer and in spring. It is useful in erosion control and land revegetation. It is also widely archived in Native American ritual plants and in wildlife conservation. 

  • Botanical Name: Xerophyllum tenax
  • Common name: Indian basket grass, elk grass, fire lily
  • Plant type: Ornamental, native, perennial
  • Mature size: 5ft
  • Sun exposure: Partial to full shade
  • Soil type: Clay, loam (silt), moist to dry, well-draining
  • Soil pH: Acidic, alkaline, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Summer, spring
  • Flower color: Greenish white
  • Hardiness zones: 4-8
  • Native Area: Northwest America, British Columbia

#32. Feather reed grass

It is a cool season, hybrid ornamental grass. It is known for its clumpy, wire-like leaves, with loosely feather plumes.

It is good for both fresh and dry flower arrangements since the plumes could withstand the winter. It does not seed making it a non-invasive plant that can be used as accent grass. It is pest, insect and disease resistant. 

  • Botanical Name: Calamagrostis x acutiflora
  • Common name: Feather reed grass, Overdam
  • Plant type: Ornamental
  • Mature size: 5ft
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Clay, moist to very dry
  • Soil pH: acidic, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Fall
  • Flower color: Cream/tan
  • Hardiness zones: 4a-11b
  • Native Area: North America, Russia

#33. Elephant grass

It is more than just an ornamental plant. Its distinct high biomass yield, fast-growing yet low mineral content properties of this grass made it a biofuel energy source at par with corn. It is a tropical grass known to tolerate both wet and dry conditions. It is also a known forage grass. 

  • Botanical Name: Pennisetum purpureum 
  • Common name: Elephant grass
  • Plant type: Native, ornamental
  • Mature size: 6ft
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil type: Medium moist, well-draining
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Year round
  • Flower color: green, yellow
  • Hardiness zones: 8-11
  • Native Area: Sub-Saharan Africa

#34. Indian grass

It is a perennial, warm-season grass with fibrous roots, rough but ribbon-like leaves. It is pest and deer resistant with nodding flower panicles blooming in the fall and summer.

It is also drought tolerant and it attracts songbirds and small critters. It is a good accent grass for a winter themed garden or lawn. 

  • Botanical Name: Sorghastrum elliottii
  • Common name: Nodding Indian grass
  • Plant type: Native perennial. Ornamental grass
  • Mature size: 6ft
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil type: Moist, occasionally dry
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic, alkaline, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Fall, summer
  • Flower color: Insignificant
  • Hardiness zones: 4-9
  • Native Area: Central and Southeastern USA, North Carolina

#35. Sedge grass

It is the general term for more than 100 Carex species and cultivars. It is known for its dense and tall clumped leaves that are shaped like fountains.

The leaves will remain cream colored year-round. It gives beautiful texture to damp regions and a good accent ornamental grass in garden beds and ground cover to woodland gardens. 

  • Botanical Name: Carex spp. 
  • Common name: Sedge
  • Plant type: Ground cover, ornamental grass, broadleaf evergreen
  • Mature size: 0.5-1 ft
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Clay, silt, sand, rocky, well-draining
  • Soil pH: Acid, alkaline, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Year-round
  • Flower color: Brown, copper
  • Hardiness zones: 7b-9a
  • Native Area: South New Zealand Isles

#36. Japanese blood grass

It is an ornamental grass known for its changing leaf colors. In the spring, it is bright green, in the summer it turns into cranberry red and then it turns into burgundy in the fall.

It will grow dormant in the winter and provides a good accent and contrast in the garden. It is also deer resistant and very low maintenance. 

  • Botanical Name: Imperata cylindrica
  • Common name: Red baron
  • Plant type: Ornamental grass, ground cover
  • Mature size: 2-4 ft
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Clay, loam, moist but well-drained
  • Soil pH: Acid, alkaline, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Year-round
  • Flower color: Gray, silver, white
  • Hardiness zones: 5a-9a
  • Native Area: Southeast Asia, Micronesia, Australia, Southern Europe and Africa

#37. Citronella grass

It is a perennial, clump-growing grass known for its wide medicinal properties. Like lemon grass, it is one of the 12 most potent grasses that could ward off insects and pests, specifically mosquitoes. It is also processed for essential oils and fragrance. 

  • Botanical Name: Cymbopogon nardus/winterianus
  • Common name: Citronella
  • Plant type: Ornamental, medicinal
  • Mature size: 4-6 ft
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Loam, sandy, moist and well-draining
  • Soil pH: Neutral to slightly alkaline
  • Bloom time:  Summer to fall
  • Flower color: Light brown
  • Hardiness zones: 10-12
  • Native Area: Southeast Asia

#38. Blue oat grass

It is a dense, perennial grass that grows in clumps. It is known for its blue green foliage. It is commonly confused with tall fescues but blue oat grass is larger and taller than them.

It will grow blue flower panicles in the summer and fall but its blue green color will stay year-round. 

  • Botanical Name: Helictotrichon sempervirens
  • Common name: Blue oat grass
  • Plant type: Ornamental, perennial
  • Mature size: 1.5-3 ft
  • Sun exposure: Part to full shade
  • Soil type: Sandy, heavy clay, well-draining
  • Soil pH: Alkaline, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Summer, fall
  • Flower color: Blue, tan
  • Hardiness zones: 4-9
  • Native Area: West Mediterranean

#39. Miscanthus grass

It is the general term for more that 150 species and cultivars including the zebra grass and maiden grass. It has a green coarse foliage in the spring, purple in the fall and brown or tan in the winter. It can tolerate both wet and dry soils and hot and tolerably cold climates. 

  • Botanical Name: Miscanthus spp.
  • Common name: Miscanthus, silver grass
  • Plant type: Ornamental, clumping perennial
  • Mature size: 8-12 ft
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil type: clay, silt, sand, moist and well-draining
  • Soil pH: Acidic, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Fall, winter
  • Flower color: Cream, red, burgundy
  • Hardiness zones: 5a-9a
  • Native Area: Southeast Asia, Japan, the Pacific region

#40. Sudan grass

It is tall, fast growing, warm season grass that is cultivated because it is useful in preventing soil erosion, rebuilding soil and in loosening compact, clumped soils.

It is called as such because it is a hybrid between sorghum and sudangrass used as legume cover and forage grass. It suppresses weeds and nematodes too. 

  • Botanical Name: Sorghum x drummondii
  • Common name: Hybrid sudan, Sudan grass
  • Plant type: Ground cover, forage grass
  • Mature size: 3-4 ft
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Sand, loam, moderate to well-draining
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic, neutral
  • Bloom time:  None
  • Flower color: None
  • Hardiness zones: 5-9
  • Native Area: West Africa

#41. Barnyard grass

It is mostly known as an agricultural weed. It has flat leaves that will get more flattened as it grows in the stem base. It produces its own seeds, hence, invasive. It also grows tiny purple flowers that make it good as accent grass. 

  • Botanical Name: Echinochloa crus-galli
  • Common name: Cockspur grass, barnyard millet
  • Plant type: Native annual, 
  • Mature size: 3.5-6 ft
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Clay, loam, moist and well-draining
  • Soil pH: Acidic, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Sumer, fall
  • Flower color: Purple
  • Hardiness zones: 5-9
  • Native Area: Southeast Asia, Central/South America

#42. Goosegrass

It has pale-green stems, deep green, flat and folded leaves. Its leaves are also tough and at mature phase cannot be cut by ordinary cutting implements. It has strong roots, fast-growing and can grow in compact soils. It could be invasive as it can produce its own seeds. 

  • Botanical Name: Eleusine indica
  • Common name: Wire grass, bull grass
  • Plant type: Native, weed, ornamental
  • Mature size: 4 ft
  • Sun exposure: Partial to full sun
  • Soil type: Clay-loam, sandy, shallow rocky, moist to slightly dry
  • Soil pH: Acidic, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Fall
  • Flower color: Greenish white
  • Hardiness zones: 8-11
  • Native Area: Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia

#43. Torpedo grass

It has grayish green leaves that are narrow and rolled inward. It has torpedo-shaped rootstock and rhizome roots with white-brown scales. It produces its own seeds though and can be quite invasive often targeting rice fields. 

  • Botanical Name: Panicum repens
  • Common name: Bullet grass, panic rampant
  • Plant type: Aquatic, herbaceous perennial, grass/sedge
  • Mature size: 3ft
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Sandy, moist, well-draining
  • Soil pH: Mildly acidic, mildly alkaline, neutral
  • Bloom time:  Insignificant
  • Flower color: Summer, fall
  • Hardiness zones: 8a-11a
  • Native Area: Africa and Asia

Conclusion

Grass is not just a generic landscape element. It comes in many types with specific uses. It is also astounding to know that most grasses bloom with flowers.

They are not just grass and plumes and that is the reason why they do not just come handy for covering ground and serving as turf grass but also as ornamentals.

However, they could still be invasive if not controlled so knowing how to plant, maintain and take care of them individually is important and looking through their grass profiles is imperative.

 

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