Purple moor grass is similar to moor grass but is taller, in some cases significantly taller. For many cultivars, the flowering stalks make up most of the height, with the mound of foliage often only 2 to 3 feet tall.
Size and Form:
The foliage of this grass forms a 2 to 3 feet tall mound. In flower, the plant may be 8 feet tall (depending on cultivar), with a more arching habit.
Native geographic location and habitat:
Native to the British Isles, Europe and Asia. It is common in moist to wet areas.
Leaves are up to 1/2 inch wide and 18 inches long. Green in summer, they change to yellow in fall.
Flowering occurs in mid-summer. The tiny flowers are held above the foliage in spikes atop stalks that may be 3 to 5 feet tall (depending on cultivars). The flowers are wind-pollinated.
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.
Purple moor grass achieves its best growth 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:
No serious problems.
Bergfreund (Mountain Friend) purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea ssp. arundinacea ‘Bergfreund’):
Foliage is 3 feet tall, with the flower stalks rising 4 to 5 feet tall.