Content Detail

Moor grass, as the name indicates, is commonly found in moors and other moist sites. It is a warm season, clumping grass native to the British Isles, Europe, and Asia.

  • Family (English) Grass
  • Family (botanic) Poaceae
  • Tree or plant type Grass, Perennial
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Acid soil, Moist, well-drained soil, Wet soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Occasional flooding, Wet sites
  • Season of interest late spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall, mid fall, late fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Other
  • Shape or form Arching, Mounded, Upright

Size and form:

The foliage of this grass forms a mound growing 1 to 2 feet tall. In flower, the plant may be 3 to 4 feet tall, with a more arching habit.

Native geographic location and habitat:

It is native to the British Isles, Europe, and Asia and is common in moist to wet areas.

Leaf description:

Leaves are up to 1/2 inch wide and 18 inches long. Leaves are green in summer, changing to yellow in fall.

Flower description:

Flowering occurs in mid-summer. The tiny flowers are held above the foliage in spikes atop 1 to 2 foot long stems. The flowers are wind pollinated.

Fruit description:

The small fruit (caryopsis or grains) form along the spikes that held the flowers. They persist into fall, but will eventually break off during fall and winter.

Plant care:

Moor grass grows best in moist sites with full sun. In hot climates, flowering will be better if the plant is in light shade during the heat of the day. Avoid dry sites. This is a warm season grass, so its most active growth occurs in summer. It will remain standing for at least part of the growing season. Unlike other warm season grasses, the leaves and flower stalks will break off on their own in late fall and early winter.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

There are no serious problems for this plant.

Moorflamme (Moor Flame) moor grass (Molinia caerulea ‘Moorflamme’): 

The cultivar has reddish-orange fall color.

Moorhexe (Moor Witch) moor grass (Molinia caerulea ‘Moorhexe’):

This cultivar has a more narrow habit and golden yellow fall color.

Variegata moor grass (Molinia caerulea ‘Variegata’):  

Foliage on this cultivar is green and cream striped.


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