Calling all writers, especially those who wax poetic! If you have a way with words, here's your chance to put pen to paper and try your hand at writing an award-winning piece for us. Find all the details on our contest page.

Giant Oats, Spanish Oats

Stipa gigantea

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Stipa (STEE-pa) (Info)
Species: gigantea (jy-GAN-tee-uh) (Info)


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for drying and preserving

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Grand Junction, Colorado

Olympia, Washington

Poulsbo, Washington

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 20, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Beautiful grass in flower, especially when backlit by low sun. Hardy on the east coast at least to Z6b, Dartmouth, MA, if drainage is good and there isn't too much winter moisture. This plant comes from a Mediterranean climate and has greater winter hardiness in drier climates.

Clump-forming, it does not spread vegetatively. In some gardens, this may self-sow lightly.

Like Miscanthus, the leaf edges can give painful cuts like paper cuts. Wear gloves when combing out dead foliage in spring.


On Jul 11, 2015, Lodewijkp from Zwolle,
Netherlands (Zone 7a) wrote:

beautiful beatiful beatiful and extremely hardy and foolproof. its big but not too big and is high enough to be in the shrub category. it is very vigorous, it has a winter interest appearance with high green / brown stems with oat like seeds appearance for many months sometimes throughout the year.

look greats on every spot that receives full sun , looks great in combination with ficus carica or any other mediterranean/ arid plant. i have it for 5 years now and it is still going strong. surely one of the best ornamental grass i have ever purchased.


On Jan 15, 2011, CosyMeadows from Lismore,
Ireland wrote:

Looks fantastic with Verbena Bonariensis, this plant will flower after year 2, probably year 3. Also a good one to accompany this grass is Agastache Mexicana Sangria. SG looks amazing in the glow of the evening sun and a star of the grass border.