|Great Big Grasses
|Two very striking large-scale clumping grasses are back. Chondropetalum tectorum or
Thatching Reed is used to make thatch roofs in its native South Africa. It is similar in
appearance to Equisetum or Horsetail, but much larger and not invasive. The thick stalks are
dark bluish-green. It forms a clump 3’ tall and wide or bigger. It tolerates a wide variety of
soils and watering conditions. You can even plant it directly in a pond. Give it full sun.
For a wonderful textural contrast, plant a feathery cloud of Muhlenbergia dumosa nearby…
maybe further up a slope, where it can have less water and better drainage than the
Chondropetalum. Muhlenbergia dumosa is sometimes called Bamboo Grass or Bamboo Muhly
because of its finely textured leaves and jointed stems. However, is not a bamboo, and it won’t
run underground and invade. It will form a clump 4’ tall or taller with summer water. It is native
to Arizona and Mexico. It tolerates heat, drought, and coastal conditions.