Anemanthele lessoniana

pheasant's tail grass (syn. Stipa arundinacea )

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The tightly tufted New Zealand wind grass plays in the breeze like a fibre-optic lamp and the flowerheads swoon as they collect the morning dew

Val Bourne - Garden Writer

  • Position: full sun or partial shade
  • Soil: moderately fertile, medium to light, well-drained soil
  • Rate of growth: fast-growing
  • Flowering period: June to September
  • Hardiness: frost hardy (needs winter protection)

    A wonderful grass that provides year-round colour, movement and structure. It forms a fountain-like clump of slender evergreen foliage, which emerges green, but develops irregular yellow, orange and red spotting and streaking. This colouring becomes even more intense during the colder months of the year and the overall effect is very pretty. An added bonus is the sprays of airy flowerheads, which appear in late summer.

  • Garden care: In spring, tease out dead foliage by gently running your fingers through it as if it were hair. It may self-seed, but simply pull out seedlings when you see them.

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by PowerReviews
CrocusAnemanthele lessoniana

(based on 1 review)

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Reviewed by 1 customer

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I would recomment this plant

By Nicky

from GL6

Verified Buyer


  • Accurate Instructions
  • Attractive
  • Hardy
  • Healthy
  • Versatile


    Best Uses

    • Garden

    Comments about Anemanthele lessoniana:

    It is good for visual punctuation all year round.

    • Your Gardening Experience:
    • Experienced

    Displaying review 1

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    Do you want to ask a question about this?

    If so, click on the button and fill in the box below. We will post the question on the website, together with your alias (bunnykins, digger1, plantdotty etc etc) and where you are from (Sunningdale/Glasgow etc). We'll also post the answer to your question!
    4 Questions | 4 Answers
    Displaying questions 1-4
    • Q:

      Hi. Would this be suitable for growing in a container on a balcony. The balcony is south facing, open and can get pretty windy. Alternatively can you suggest something similar that might be suitable? It would need to be suitable for container growing, full sun and wind. I'm looking for something that will grow quite tall and not shed lots of leaves etc so I thought an ornamental grass might be a good idea.
      Asked on 17/5/2014 by BalconyGardener from yorkshire

      1 answer

      • Plant Doctor


        Hello there
        This grass is one of the best for tolerating windy conditions, and it likes sun so it should be fine.
        Hope this helps.

        Answered on 20/5/2014 by Anonymous from crocus
    • Q:

      I've got three Anemanthele lessoniana interplanting a Mahonia Winter Sun and a couple of Rosa Tuscany Superb. This is the borders second season and the roses and mahonia are being swamped by the grass. The mahonia will pull through and shortly outstrip the grass plants but I fear the roses won't. Can you recommend an alternative grass of similar habit and colours but of smaller stature that might be used instead of the pheasant's tail?
      Asked on 9/8/2013 by Andy from Crewe area

      1 answer

    • Q:

      2006 Planting Chelsea Flower Show enquiry

      Hi, I see you have plants available for the current show, but do you have a plant list for the 2006 award winner (Daily Telegraph,Tom Stuart Smith) available as I am interested in buying some of these plants? Thank you for your time, Kelly
      Asked on 5/4/2010 by kelly mackenzie

      1 answer

      • A:

        Hello Kelly, He did use a lot of plants in his garden - here is a list which includes most. Allium Purple Sensation Anthriscus Ravens Wing Aquilegia Ruby Port Astrantia Claret Carex testacea Cirsium rivulare atropurpureum Dahlia Dark Desire Euphorbia Fireglow Geranium Lily Lovell Geranium phaeum Samobor Geranium Phillipe Valpelle Geranium psilostemmon Geum Princess Juliana Gillenia trifoliata Hakonechloa macra Iris Dusky Challenger Iris Dutch Chocolate Iris Sultan's Palace Iris Superstition Iris Supreme Sultan Knautia macedonica Lavandula angustifolia Nepeta subsessilis Washfield Nepeta Walkers low Purple fennel - Giant Bronze Rodgersia pinnata Superba Rodgersia podophylla Salvia Mainacht Sedum matrona Stachys byzantina Stipa arundinacea (syn.Anemanthele lessoniana) Stipa gigantea Tulip Abu Hassan Tulip Ballerina Tulip Queen of Night Verbascum Helen Johnston I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

        Answered on 6/4/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
    • Q:

      Trimming Anemanthele lessoniana

      Hi, Could you tell me if and when I should trim Anemanthele lessoniana (pheasant tail grass)? Regards Nigel.
      Asked on 15/2/2010 by Nigel Grange

      1 answer

      • A:

        Hello Nigel, In spring, you can tease out any dead foliage in your Anemanthele by gently running your fingers through it as if it were hair. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

        Answered on 15/2/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
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