Anamanthele lessoniana is a beautiful clump forming ornamental grass with a nice upright habit.
Its leaves are a mixture of green and bronze, turning red and orange in summer and autumn. It generally prefers full sun, but can take some shade, although, in my experience, the colouring is less fiery in shade.
Small feathery red sprays of flowers appear in summer, creating a hazy effect above the plant.
Anemanthele lessoniana: garden uses
Anemanthele lessoniana works well in many different settings, as a specimen plant, punctuating a border, or in block of several plants together. It provides fantastic year round interest and is easy to maintain – just comb out dead or damaged leaves in Spring. Goes well with contrasting foliage ground cover plants, like hardy geranium Johnson’s Blue.
It is best not to cut the plant back to ground level, although it can be cut back by about half to tidy it up. However, only prune in this way in Spring and Summer, when it will regrow quickly, not in Autumn or winter.
Anemanthele lessoniana can be a fairly short lived plant (3-5) years, but it can be propagated by division and it will self-seed, so self sown seedlings can be harvested for new plants.
If dividing the plant, do so in spring or summer so that the roots have enough time to recover and grown
Plant notes: Anemanthele lessoniana
Common name: Pheasant’s tail grass, Pheasant Grass
Synonyms: Stipa Arundinacea, Oryzopsis lessoniana
The genus Anamanthele is in the Poaceae (grass) family.
Prefers medium to light well-drained soil that is moderately fertile. Will tolerate heavier soils
Height: 0.5 to 1m (1.5 to 3.3 feet)
Spread: 1 to 1.5 m. (3.3 to 5 feet)
Plant calendar: Anemanthele lessoniana
Sow seeds: Feb, March, April
Plant Out: April, May, June
Flowers: July, Aug, Sep.
Martin Cole has been an avid gardener for more than 20 years and loves to talk and write about gardening. In 2006 he was a finalist in the BBC Gardener of the Year competition.
He previously lived in London and Sydney, Australia, where he took a diploma course in Horticultural studies and is now based in North Berwick in Scotland. He founded GardeningStepbyStep.com in 2012. The website is aimed at everybody who has been bitten by the gardening bug and wants to know more.
Gardening Step by Step has been cited by Thompson and Morgan, the UK’s largest mail order plant retailer, as a website that publishes expert gardening content.
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