Recommended By

Pacific Plant People

John Greenlee
Member Profile

John Greenlee

Greenlee & Associates

John Greenlee is an internationally known landscape designer, horticulturist, author, and nurseryman specializing in the cultivation and study of grasses and grass-like plants. An expert on grass ecologies worldwide, he has been a passionate, potent champion of sustainable design and planting schemes for more than 30 years. His unyielding advocacy for saving the planet, for restoring a balance in and with nature is well said in his meadows mantra.
Favorite Plants Of

Pacific Plant People

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Autumn moor grass (Sesleria autumnalis)

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Test Plant Profile 2

Autumn moor grass (Sesleria autumnalis)
Plants You Need    | Sustainable Gardening

Plant Family

Poaceae

Genus

Sesleria

Species

Autumn moor grass (Sesleria autumnalis)
Moor grasses tick off all the boxes you need in a meadow grass. They are evergreen, clumping, long lived, and well behaved. Tolerant to a wide variety of soils and climates, they have been my go-to grasses for making meadows for over 25 years. The moor grasses have proved themselves in West Coast gardens from San Diego to Seattle. Few other grasses can make such claims. Although they are native to Europe, the moor grasses are among the best-selling ornamental grasses up and down the West Coast. They thrive in meadows large and small, as they manage to be naturalistic but tidy at the same time. Their flowers are noticeable and showy, but never messy.

Water Use

Low-Water Use

Conditions When It Thrives

Likes cold and dry, Likes Silty Soil

Ecosystem Services

Attracts Generalist Pollinators, Birds Eat the Berries

Native To

Geographic Range

Availability

Available at Specialty Nurseries

Height & Habit

Special Features

Did You Know Icon
The generic name is in honor of Leonardo Selser, 18th century Italian botanist. 

Why They Love It

Moor grasses are invaluable for converting small, unused lawns into meadows. Since they come in various foliage colors, moor grasses can be worked into almost any garden scheme. They are bright green, gray-green, silver, dark green, and two-toned green with white underneath. There is bound to be a foliage color to suit the most discerning gardener.

Seasonal Appearance/Dormancy

This grass is topped just above the leaves with snowy white florets that ripen to slender golden seed heads that are attractive and tidy.

Advice

I space plants 12 inches to 18 inches apart, depending on the flowering accents that I place between the clumps. There is some variation in seed-grown plants, so the identical clones of S. autumnalis ‘Fine Leaf’ and S. autumnalis ‘Campo Verde’ are the most compact and uniform of nursery offerings.
Test Plant Profile 2

Plant Family

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Genus

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Species

Test Plant Profile 2
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Water Use

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Conditions When It Thrives

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Ecosystem Services

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Native To

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Geographic Range

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Availability

Height & Habit

Special Features

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Did You Know Icon
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Why They Love It

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Seasonal Appearance/Dormancy

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Advice

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