Pheasant's Tail Grass, Feather Grass, New Zealand Wind Grass 'Capriccio'

Stipa lessoniana

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Stipa (STEE-pa) (Info)
Species: lessoniana (les-son-ee-AY-na) (Info)
Cultivar: Capriccio
Synonym:Stipa arundinacea
Synonym:Anemanthele lessoniana


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


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


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Maroon (Purple-Brown)


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer


Grown for foliage


Good Fall Color

Provides winter interest

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:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


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

Richmond, California

San Anselmo, California

Portland, Oregon

Edmonds, Washington

Lake Forest Park, Washington

Seattle, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 11, 2010, SaraCanary from Portland, OR wrote:

An excellent grass. Beautiful Fall color.
I fell in love with this one and planted more than one.
The first season I smiled in delight at its' brillance.
It was getting quite large the second season so I cut it
back hard in February.
This plant has never fully recovered, and has never matched it's former brillance.


On Jul 27, 2007, saya from Heerlen
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

Formerly named and still known as Stipa arundinacea. I have a 4 year old clump in my garden from wintersown seeds..allthough this grass is somewhat frost tender. I never cut it back in spring. I 've done this once and it recovered so slowly. I just gently pull out the dry old blades. Even without flowering it is pretty and very suitable for a small garden.


On Mar 9, 2005, mar9999 from Seattle, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a really beautiful grass, climaxing in fall when the colors really start to show.

It is very graceful in the wind (hence the common name I guess), and is quite soothing to watch.