Bottlebrush grass is a native grass that is found in wooded areas rather than in prairies. It can be used for naturalizing in shady sites.
"This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research."
- Chicago area,
- North America
- Mixed border
- Large plant (more than 24 inches)
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8,
- Zone 9
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Early summer,
- Mid summer,
- Late summer,
- Early fall,
- Mid fall
Size and Form
Bottlebrush grass has an upright habit and grows 2 to 3 feet tall when in flower. It is a cool season, clumping grass.
Best in lightly shaded sites. Avoid hot, dry sites.
This plant can be used for naturalizing as it can self seed, but seldom becomes weedy.
This is a cool season grass, so its most active growth occurs in spring and fall. Unlike other cool season grasses, it will not be semi-evergreen in winter, but it still can act as winter interest.
Cut back in early spring, before new growth begins. At that time, it can be cut down to the ground.
Disease, pests, and problems
No serious pest problems.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to a large portion of the eastern United States. Common in wooded areas.
The green leaves are arranged in an alternate arrangement along the stem. The leaves will grow 8 to 12 inches long and turn beige in fall.
Flowering occurs in summer. The tiny green flowers are produced in a bottlebrush-shaped spike. The flowers are accompanied by long awns (bristles). Flowers are wind pollinated.
The small fruit (caryopsis or grains) are held in the same spike that held the flowers. Fruit mature to tan and may begin to shatter in fall.