Molinia (moor grass)
Moor grasses have thin, wispy, slender leaves, giving them a more relaxed, airy look. So, they’re ideal choices for a more naturalistic style of design. They tend to fall into two groups, those which are relatively short, and those that produce much taller flower stems. Both groups are hardy and clump forming.
They develop purple flowers in late summer. Along with the leaves, these turn wonderful shades of golden bronze as they age.
Molinia are very easy to grow and care for if given soil that stays moist. They can be grown in full sun or partial shade. Place them in the border where light can shine through them for the best effect and, if you can, plant a group of them en masse.
If choosing Molinia, it’s important to remember their stems have a tendency to suddenly collapse in January. So be prepared to cut them back hard to just above ground level before they collapse. Also, if space allows, place some of the hollow stems in a neat pile at the back of the border to give insects a place to hide out and hibernate in.
Molinia caerulea subsponsor. caerulea ‘Moorhexe’ is a low growing cultivar with stiff upright leaves which looks particularly effective in rock gardens, reaching a height and spread of 45cm.
Molinia caerulea subsp. caerulea ‘Strahlenquelle’ is a bit of a mouthful to say but is a beautiful type of moor grass that grows to a medium height of 90cm and width of 60cm. It’s an ideal plant for the middle of the border.
Molinia arundinacea ‘Skyracer’ is, as its name suggests, a tall, upright, elegant variety that reaches heights of up to 240cm when in flower. Its autumn colours are stunning and its architectural form makes it an ideal choice for a naturalistic planting scheme.