Bay State Perennial Farm




Spodiopogon siberica 10-6

Spodiopogon sibericus, 10-06-20

new green line

Andropogon gerardii ‘Red October’  (Big Bluestem) A selection of our native Big Bluestem, ‘Red October’ emerges with green leaves tipped in red. Slowly during the season, all of the leaves turn red and then finally to scarlet after the first frost. The inflorescences are burgundy-red on tall purple stems beginning in August. Adapted to sun and dry soils where other grasses may fail. 5’-6’ tall. Zone 3.

Bouteloua g Blonde Ambition 175

Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition’    Airy, creamy/chartreuse flowers float horizontally above upright, clumping blue/green foliage. For full sun, tolerant of a wide range of soil types including those difficult dry, rocky places. A distinctive grass that creates high interest especially when planted in groups of three or more. Flowers remain attractive through summer and, though fragile looking, persist well into winter, even bouncing back after snowfalls. Beautifully combines whimsy with a rugged constitution. 2-3’ tall, very hardy, zone 3.

Calamagrostis acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’    4-5ft. tall with a distinct, upright habit. Fluffy, wheat-colored flower plumes are present from June-Sept., undulating gracefully on even the slightest breeze. Clump forming. An excellent specimen grass, also useful in dried arrangements. Zone 3.

Calamgrostis brachyricha 175

Calamagrostis brachytricha     A beautiful late blooming Feather Reed grass. Valuable for its late season blooms that open with a strong purple tint and then soften to a lovely pinkish silver. Inflorescences are large, up to 8-10” long and 2” thick. Blooms in September. Grows 4’ tall with a strong, erect habit. Will do well in light shade though habit may be more lax. Zone 4.

Carex elata ‘Bowles Golden’   (Sedge) Bright gold to chartreuse leaves with narrow green margins, 2-3' tall, moisture loving, great for the edges of ponds and streams. Also well adapted to border conditions with part shade and average to rich, reasonably moist soil.  Very effective combined with the bold blue, green or gold foliage of Hostas. Gold color is most intense in full sun, in which case, evenly moist soil is a must. We’ve had it in one of our shade borders for many years and it continues to look great, year after year, with virtually no care.

Chasmanthium latifolium     (Wild-oats)  Dark green foliage, 3'-4' high, with an upright form, and showy drooping oat-like spikelets that are excellent in both fresh and dried arrangements. Blooms mid summer. Often referred to by the common name Sea-oat, but this is a misnomer as plants are an inland species, preferring rich, moist soil in full sun where they maintain a solid upright form. In part shade, they get by on much less water but form is sacrificed and stems may be more lax. Zone 3.

Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Goldtau’ (Tufted Hairgrass) New     Compact, dense mounds of narrow, dark green blades followed by golden-yellow inflorescences that form an airy golden mist over the foliage, June-August. Semi-evergreen in New England with seed heads persisting through the winter. 1'-2' tall. Deer resistant. Zone 4.

Eragostis spectabilis     (Purple Love Grass) Fluffy clouds of bronze-red inflorescences float over the clumps in late summer. Beautiful in drifts, in a meadow garden, at the base of walls and edging stones. 12"-18" tall. Foliage turns bronzy-red in fall. Thrives in hot, dry, sandy soils, but also tolerant of poorly drained places. Cut back after flowering to prevent self-seeding. Deer resistant. Zone 5.

Festuca (Fescue)    Fescues offer much landscape appeal, with their fine texture, neat form, and foliage color. They prefer full sun and well drained soil, and particularly resent winter sogginess. Best renewed by division every few years, in the spring.

    glauca ‘Beyond Blue’    Intense, power blue foliage. Color stays bright throughout the season without browning . Evergreen. 9"-12" tall. Offers much landscape appeal, with its fine texture, neat form, and strong color. Prefers full sun and well-drained soil, and particularly resent winter sogginess. Best renewed by division every few years, in the spring.

Hakonechloa macra ‘Albo Stricta’   Taller than ‘Aureola’ but the added height allows for an exceeding graceful, cascading form. Spreads slowly to form a large, dense, yet airy clump. More green than ‘Aureola’, with white rather than yellow stripping. Our large clump of arching, layered, constantly undulating blades provides a calming restorative for overworked staff. Very resilient, surviving incursions of Campsis radicans and Celastrus (Bittersweet) as well as the repeated attempts to extricate said thugs from the clumps. A beautiful grass worthy of more notice. Zone 5.

Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold'

Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold'     Glimmering solid gold foliage without a speck of green. Unlike the fountainesque H. 'Aureola', 'All Gold' holds its blades in a more upright, spiked fashion, creating a tidy, rounded mound. 10-12ins. tall and wide. Plant out of afternoon sun in rich, moist but well drained soil. Zone 5.

Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'

Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’    Variegated leaves are yellow with narrow green margins. Reddish pink in fall. Plants have a beautiful, cascading habit with all the leaves arching in the same direction creating a golden waterfall. (picture taken at Tower Hill Botanic Garden).07-PartialShade-s 06-FullShade-s 04-Drip2

Imperata koenigii 'Red Baron'

Imperata koenigii ‘Red Baron’ (Japanese Blood Grass)    1-2ft. blades that are green at the base and striking, blood red from the middle to the top. The foliage becomes redder as the season progresses. Grows best in rich, moist soil, but becomes quite drought tolerant once established.

Ophiopogon planisarpus ‘Ebony Knight’     (Mondo Grass) Black grass-like fronds form 6in. tall mounds, dense, slow spreading. Lavender flowers make an appearance in summer but, with this plant, it's all about the foliage! Makes a wonderful edger and creates striking contrasts with other shade loving plants. Prefers moist, well-drained soil in full shade. Evergreen in warmer zones. Zone 6. Needs protection in zone 5.

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’   Big, bold and beautiful mounds of fine textured, silver-veined, green leaves with an upright arching habit, 5’-6’ tall. In late summer-early fall, showy plumes emerge with a reddish tint, then age to a soft silnery-white and persist well into winter. Best in sun with rich, reasonably moist soil. Deer resistant. Zone 5.

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Little Kitten’     One of the smallest Miscanthus. Narrow-leaved, very compact with a maximum height of 3’ tall in flower. Perfect for smaller gardens where the design features of a grass are desired but where space will not accommodate the standard large varieties. Zone 5.

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Little Miss’ New 2018    Foliage emerges green in spring developing carmine and purple tones early on, with strongest coloring in October and November. Clump centers remain fresh green for a striking two-tone effect  From July-October, reddish flower heads followed by buff seed heads extend the long season of interest. 2-3' tall. Drought tolerant once established. Zone 4.

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Malepartus’     A robust grower, 6-8ft. tall. Begins blooming in August with inflorescences opening pink-purple then turning silver as they mature into September. Its early pink-purple plumes are among the more colorful of the japanese silver grasses. Zone 5.

Miscanthus s. 'Morning Light'

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’ (Variegated Maiden Grass)   Gracefully arching, narrow green leaves are neatly outlined in white, giving an overall silvery appearance. Has a very refined and elegant look.  Blooms late with cream colored plumes. 5-6' tall, zone 5.

Panicum amarum ‘Dewey Blue’    A selection of a native dune grass with glaucous blue leaves formed into a fountain-like clump, 5ft. high. A large, graceful grass that stays remarkably blue all season. Cream colored, open panicles in late summer. Zone 4.

Panicum virgatum ‘Hot Rod’     Strongly upright blades emerge blue/green, reddening rapidly until the whole plant is a rich, deep maroon. In late summer-early fall sprays of tan colored flowers add landscape interest to this already eyecatching grass. 3-4' tall by 2' wide. These newer, lower-growing Panicums are rapidly gaining in popularity and are increasingly evident in commercial plantings such as that hamberger chain with the golden arch. On several occasions I've found myself swerving into the drive through lane just to get a closer look at the lovely drift of Panicums. And, since I was next in line, I picked up a large fry! Full sun, zone 4.

Panicum v North Wind 175

Panicum virgatum ‘North Wind’     Very strong, upright-growing clump with wider powder-blue foliage than 'Heavy Metal'. Showy, delicate flower panicles bloom in Aug.-Sept. The strongest-stemmed Panicum, 6' tall and 5' wide.

Panicum v Shenandoah 175

Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’    Foliage begins green and by July begins taking on red/burgundy tones, becoming completely burgundy by September, 3-4' tall. Habit is upright, light and airy though never lax. In late summer and into fall, a haze of wispy flowers and seed-heads float over the tops of the clumps reinforcing the attractive “breezy” quality of this excellent Switch Grass. Zone 4.

Panicum virgatum ‘Thundercloud’     Large growing with pinkish-tan inflorescences carried just above the dense, blue-green leaves. Habit is tight, strongly upright, forming a vertical column that remains standing through winter. Grows to 7-8’ tall. Zone 4.

Pennisetum a Burg Bun best175

Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Burgundy Bunny’   A dainty Fountain Grass with low, narrow blades forming a dense, diminutive clump with red blades dispersed amongst the green until fall when the entire clump ignites into bright burgundy. In late summer, tiny, cream-colored, bottle-brush flowers appear over the clump contrasting beautifully with the blazing burgundy foliage. At only 1-1' tall and with an equal spread, plants are ideally suited for use as edging, for drift planting at the front of the sunny border, and for container planting. Deer resistant. Zone 5.

Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Foxtrot’     Smoky-rose, 6”-8” long, bottlebrush-type plumes in late summer over narrow, upright clumps, foliage to 4’ with flowers rising an additional 1’. The green foliage turns autumnal gold in fall. A mid-sized grass suitable for mixing in the middle or back of the perennial border and effective in large drifts. Deer resistant. Zone 5.

Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Hameln’    (Dwarf Fountain Grass) Compact mounds of fine-textured, bright green leaves and abundant creamy-white, soft, bottlebrush-like flowers that begin blooming in early to mid August and continue into fall. Overall heigtht is 3' tall, including the height of the flowers. A very attractive and popular ornamental grass. Very effective planted in groups, and especially eyecatching in large drifts. Grow in full sun in average, evenly moist but well drained soil.

Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Little Bunny’     Heavy blooming with a proud show of diminutive foxtails only 11ins. hich over low, compact tufts of foliage. Very cute for edging, for planting between stones at the sides of walks and patios and for rock plantings. Zone 5.

Pennisetum alopecuroides Prairie Winds® ‘Desert Plains’    An improvement over ‘Hameln’ in habit, flowering performance, and fall color. Narrow, green leaves form an upright vase-shaped clump. In late summer, puffy, 5” bottlebrush plumes emerge smoky purple and age to tan. Plumes are carried above the foliage in a showy display. Foliage takes on beautiful golden-amber fall color. Plumes make attractive additions to cut arrangements. 3-4’ tall. Deer resistant. Zone 5.   

Pennisetum o. 'Karley Rose'

Pennisetum orientalis ‘Karley Rose’      An elegant fountain grass with a uniform, arching habit that erupts with clouds of smoky, rose-purple foxtails in early summer and contining till frost. 40" tall. Elegant and long-blooming.  Looks especially nice in larger drifts creating a billowy, whimsical effect. Also combines nicely with perennials and smaller shrubs. Requires full sun and average or better soil that remains reasonably moist through the season. Zone 5. If you had to choose only one grass for your garden, this could be the one!


Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Carousel’      'Carousel' resembles the species with blue-green foliage that gradually changes to shades of tan, copper and orange-red in late summer and fall. It goes further and improves on the species with a low habit of sturdy stems that do not flop. At only 30" tall by 18-24" wide, 'Carousel' is the long awaited remedy to many landscape dilemmas with its tenacious, carefree constitution that allows it to thrive in just about any soil from dry to average to "occasionally" wet, in hot full sun, all the while presenting a tidy, attractive form and a subtle, everchanging color transition from spring into winter. Very effective in drifts on the flat or on banks. Works well in mixed containers and in the border in combination with perennials such as puple fall Asters, orange Geum, purple Baptisia and various Coreopsis. Best planted in sun in average, well drained soil. Zone 3.

Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Prairie Munchkin’    A lower growing Little Bluestem with bolt upright, steely-blue blades that are as flop-resistant as they come. The excellent blue foliage color persists through summer and, as temperatures cool in late summer-fall, subtly changes to appealing shades of amber-rose. Only 3’ tall with an impressively upright form. For average to poor sites with full sun. Excellent in naturalistic plantings, borders and especially useful for dressing up those difficult, dry areas where little else will thrive. Lends great vertical accent to well-drained, mixed containers Zone 3.

Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Smoke Signal’       A beautifully refined version of our native cultivar that takes on scarlet red tones in late summer, turning deeper red-purple in fall. Tiny, tan seed heads appear in early fall. Maintains its strictly upright habit through fall without flopping. 3-4’ tall. Plant in full sun in average, even poor, well-drained soil. Low to average water requirements. Deer resistant. Zone 3.

Schizachyrium Standing Ovation 175

Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Standing Ovation’    The best Little Bluestem yet, with thick blades, blue/green throughout but becoming purple toward the base, carried in a tight, upright habit that holds for the entire season. In fall, leaves transition to an electrifying blend of orange, red, yellow and purple. Well adapted to average and dry, well-drained soils in sun, and showy enough to combine with other low water perennials in drier locations. Also does well on rich, evenly moist soil. Very effective planted in drifts on sunny banks to both beautify and control erosion, and one of the best grasses for use in meadow gardens and other more naturalistic settings. 3-4’ tall. Zone 3.

Schizachyrium scoparium ‘The Blues’      A true blue grass that loves heat, humidity and lean soil. Clump forming to 3' tall with narrow, ice-blue blades that sway gently on even the slightest breeze. In fall, the glowing blue color becomes intense and a deep burgundy-red mingles through the entire clump which finally turns a lovely orange/amber and remain attractive through winter. Native to prairies from Canada to Arizona and adapted to growing on a wide range of soils from those with average moisture to those that are extremely dry, as well as both acid and alkaline soils. Used effectively at a local food coop to stabilize an embankment and, even at the end of this ferocious winter,(2010-11), this planting is looking good and brings a smile to my face as I drive by! Zone 4.

Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Twilight Zone’    A standout cultivar that possess a nearly incandescent silvery mauve-purple cast all over beginning in midsummer. The foliage color holds through summer and intensifies in fall when purple highlights develop. Forms a strictly upright, narrowly columnar clump that does not flop,, 4'-4 tall'. For average, even poor, well drained soils in full sun. Persists well into winter, displaying an attractive presence against a snowy background. Deer resistant. Zone 3.

Sorghastrum nutans ‘Indian Steel’ New    (Indian Grass) A native prairie grass that contributes an elegant presence together with an indestructible constitution to the cultivated garden. Clump-forming with an upright habit, 3’-6’ tall, including the height of flowers, with attractive blue/green blades that turn orange to purplish after the first frost. Narrow, golden inflorescences, up to 12” long, are carried well above the foliage and make excellent cuts, adding great interest to arrangements. In all respects well behaved, but can be a generous self-seeder, so, keep enough for yourself and for sharing with friends and cull out the rest as needed. Lends attractive vertical accent to mixed borders, effective in group plantings and stunning in large drifts. For sun with average, dry to medium moist soil. Finches love the seeds. Deer resistant. Zone 3.

Spodiopogon sibiricus    Clump-forming and upright with an overall height of 4' tall in flower. Attractive, tight, sturdy form, almost shrub-like. Flowers July and August and remains attractive, post bloom, through October. Flowers are displayed nicely above the foliage on stout stems, continuing the strong vertical orientation and, when backlit by the sun, looking like shafts of light emanating from deep within the clump. Foliage is colored rich green, a little over " wide and held nearly horizontally, inviting comparisons with bamboo. During warm autumns, fall color can be eye-catching in shades of red/burgundy. Best in part shade with evenly moist, well-drained soil. OK in full sun so long as soil remains reasonably moist all season.  Makes a strong design statement, effective as specimen, in groups and in larger drifts. Zone 4.

Sporobolus het 175

Sporobolus heterolepsis (Prairie Dropseed)      The most elegant and refined of the native prairie grasses with a soft, fountain-like appearance. Vary narrow, thread-like, green leaves turn deep orange in late fall and then fade to golden orange in winter. In mid to late August, delightfully fragrant, pinkish brown flowers appear atop tall, thin, arching stems. The more plants, the stronger the fragrance. Heat and drought tolerant and long-lived, able to exist for many years,(decades), without needing renewal. 2-3’ tall. Blooms in late summer. Zone 3. picture shows autumn color.

Stipa tenuissima      Very narrow, almost thread-like fronds grow into vase-shaped clumps, ever so gracefully arching over at the top. Equally delicate, feathery flowers float across the tops of the clumps all summer, starting out green and changing to creamy white. 18” to 24” tall. Tender. Will not over winter outside. Best grown in containers that can be placed strategically throughout the garden for special effect. Full sun.

Location of the Nursery:
Bay State Perennial Farm
36 State Road (Routes 5 & 10)
Whately, MA 01093
(413) 665-3525


Mailing Address:
Bay State Perennial Farm
P.O.Box 706
N. Hatfield, MA 01066



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