Hardy, North American perennial grass
Description: Light green, coarse, flat foliage; clouds of reddish-purple, fine-textured, loose inflorescences provide interest in late summer
Habit: Grass clumps grow 10" tall, and up to 24" tall when in flower; spreads slowly by rhizomes, 2-3' wide, or by seed
Culture: Prefers full sun and poor to average, well-drained soil; drought-tolerant; cut back in early spring
Hardiness: Cold hardy to USDA Zone 5
First described by German-American botanist Frederick Pursh in Flora Americae Septentrionalis (1813), Eragrostis spectabilis can be found in sandy sites, open woods and plains from Maine to Minnesota, and south to Florida, Arizona, and Mexico. From the Greek for love (eros) and grass (agrostis), this warm season bunchgrass is not attractive to deer and is most effective when grouped or massed in borders, native plantings, and meadows where it can be allowed to naturalize. The inflorescences also make lovely cut flowers.