Content Detail

A low-growing, non-native, cool season grass, this small clumper is not usually sold except as the cultivar ‘Variegatum’ which has striped leaves. 

  • Family (English) Grass
  • Family (botanic) Poaceae
  • Tree or plant type Grass, Perennial
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Small plant (6-12 inches), Medium plant (12-24 inches)
  • Light exposure 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, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Acid soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances clay soil
  • Season of interest mid spring, late spring, early fall, mid fall, late fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Other
  • Shape or form Creeping, Mounded

Size and form: 

In leaf, variegated tuber oat grass grows 6 to 12 inches tall. When the flower stalks are produced, the plant’s height may increase another 6 to 12 inches. The overall form is mounded, but the plant will spread out a little over time.

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Variegated tuber oat grass is native to Europe.

Leaf description: 

The slender leaves have very white stripes running through them. From a distance the plant may appear almost white.

Flower description: 

Flowers are generally produced only in cooler, northern climates. The tiny flowers on a long stalk are relatively inconspicuous, and provide only minor ornamental interest.

Fruit description: 

The small fruits (caryopsis or grain) provide very little interest.

Plant care: 

This cool season grass does best in partial shade. Heat and full sun can burn the foliage and force the plant into dormancy for summer. Provide an adequate water supply to keep this plant growing well in summer. This is a cool season grass, so its most active growth and often new growth occurs in spring and fall. It will be semi-evergreen in winter and can act as winter interest. Since this grass remains semi-evergreen through winter, it should not be cut back until early spring, before new growth begins. At that time, it can be cut down to the ground if needed or simply trimmed to remove winter damage.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

Rust is a potential problem on this grass.


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