Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Pheasant's Tail Grass, Feather Grass, New Zealand Wind Grass
Stipa lessoniana 'Capriccio'

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

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One member has or wants this plant for trade.

Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

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

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Provides winter interest

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

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2 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral SaraCanary 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.

Positive saya 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.

Positive mar9999 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.


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

Richmond, California
San Anselmo, California
Portland, Oregon
Edmonds, Washington
Lake Forest Park, Washington

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