Tufted Hair Grass, Hair Grass, Hassock Grass, Tussock Grass

Deschampsia cespitosa

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Deschampsia (deh-SHAMP-see-uh) (Info)
Species: cespitosa (kess-pi-TOH-suh) (Info)
Synonym:Deschampsia caespitosa


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

Flowers are good for drying and preserving

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round

Suitable for growing in containers


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

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)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall


Grown for foliage


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)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Oakland, California

Richmond, California

Cedaredge, Colorado

Des Plaines, Illinois

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Ludington, Michigan

Frenchtown, New Jersey

Unionville, Pennsylvania

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 31, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This species not only has a large range in North America, but also Eurasia. It is a cool season grass that emerges early in spring. It has dark green slender arching blades that form a tussock. It bears very fine-textured cloud-like flower clusters in summer into winter. It grows in average well-drained soil or organic draining wet soils. Cut down low in late winter to prepare it for the growing season. This mother species is sold by some native plant nurseries and some conventional, but not available just everywhere. I have not seen it very much in the Midwest or East, just infrequently, though it is a good ornamental or native meadow restoration grass.


On Sep 20, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

As the name suggests, this is a clump-former and does not spread. The flower scapes can reach 3', but the foliage is only about 16" tall. This is a fairly small grass. The flowers and seedheads are especially beautiful when backlit, forming a luminous golden cloud.

This is a cool-season grass, so it emerges from dormancy earlier than most in the spring, and it blooms in late spring (June here). Flowers are green fading to tan, and last most of the summer. In the garden, they do need periodic grooming as some scapes begin to lodge after a month or so, at least with the taller cultivars.

It is evergreen in mild winter climates, but only semi-evergreen here in Boston Z6a.

It is also one of the most shade tolerant of true grasses---mine did well and... read more


On Jul 9, 2012, CzechRick from Cedaredge, CO wrote:

I live at 6500 ft in Colorado and purchased a few of these grasses at a local nursery where they grow their own. This grass does not impress me but it must impress the local deer. It's the only ornamental grass in my garden that gets chomped to the ground regularly.