Grasses for Autumn Color

fall grasses
Panicum ‘Heavy Metal’
Panicum ‘Heavy Metal’

Many folks think of trees and shrubs for fall color, however ornamental grasses also offer exceptional autumn color. Here’s a great list of grasses to add to your garden designs.

(Click here for Perennials with autumn color)

Grasses offering RED autumn colors:
  • Imperata ‘Red Baron’ – Japanese blood grass – under 2 feet – Foliage turns red in late summer – Plume-less
  • Miscanthus ‘Adagio’ – dwarf maiden grass – 3 feet high – Plumes emerge pink, then turns to white
  • Miscanthus ‘Grazella’ – maiden grass – 5-6 feet high – Foliage turns red in early fall – White plumes in August
  • Miscanthus ‘ Purpurascens’ – flame grass – 3-5 feet high – Foliage turns red in mid-summer, changing to deep burgundy in fall – Cottony plumes in August
  • Panicum ‘Ruby Ribbons’ – switch grass – 3-4 feet high – Foliage becomes red-wine colored by mid summer – Plumes appear in late summer
  • Panicum ‘Prairie Fire’ – switch grass hybrid – 4-5 feet high – Foliage turns deep red in early summer – Rosy panicles in late summer

    Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’
    Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’
  • Schizachyrium scoparium – little bluestem – 2-3 feet high – Foliage turns red-bronze in fall – Plumes are silvery-white in August
Grasses offering ORANGE autumn colors:
  • Sesleria autumnalis – moor grass – 12-18 inches high – Foliage turns warm rust in fall – Plumes appear summer into fall
  • Miscanthus ‘Nippon’ – maiden grass – 4 feet high – Foliage turns red-orange in fall – Reddish-bronze panicles develop in August
  • Sporobolus heterolepsis – prairie dropseed – 2-3 feet high – Foliage is fragrant and turns rust colored in fall
Grasses offering BURGUNDY autumn colors:
  • Panicum ‘Rotstrahlbusch’ – red switch grass – 3-4 feet high – Foliage emerges green with red tips, depending on the weather, may develop burgundy hue – Scarlet-red panicles emerge in mid summer
  • Panicum ‘Shenandoah’ – red switch grass – 4 feet high – Foliage develops burgundy tips in early summer – Burgundy panicles appear in mid summer

    Panicum ‘Heavy Metal’
    Panicum ‘Heavy Metal’
  • Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’ – variegated maiden grass – 4 feet high – Foliage remains variegated – Burgundy plumes fade to cream color
  • Miscanthus ‘Silver Feather’ or ‘Silberfeder’ – maiden grass – 6 feet – Foliage blends into burgundy, purple, and gold – Silver plumes in late summer
Grasses offering YELLOW autumn color:
  • Molinia ‘Dauerstrahl’ or ‘Faithful Ray’ – purple moor grass – 2 feet high – Foliage turns yellow in early fall
  • Molinia caerulea ‘Strahlenquelle’ or ‘Source of Rays’ –  purple moor grass – 1 1/2 – 2 feet high – Foliage turns golden yellow in fall – Purplish plumes appear from July through October
  • Molinia ‘Skyracer’ – tall purple moor grass – 7-8 feet high – Foliage turns golden yellow in fall – Airy, copper-gold plumes appear in July and August
  •  – switch grass – 3-5 feet high – Foliage turns bright yellow in fall – Pink plumes develop into buff colored seed heads
  •  Panicum ‘Northwind’ – switch grass – 5-6 feet high – Foliage turns golden yellow in fall – Seed heads are small

© Wellness Garden Design

Published by Wellness Garden Design

Wellness Gardens use plants that excite the senses, are inclusive to all & aids in nurturing serenity. 💚🌳💚 Grant aid for nonprofits #gardenscanheal

6 thoughts on “Grasses for Autumn Color

  1. I’m a fan of colored grass… and I will order some plants in spring… maybe the second try is the one what makes my garden to a highlight… and it is a good thing to replace flowers what end anyway as snail snacks ;O)

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