Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


Nassella laevissima

This is one last thing after several posts about lawn alternatives and sort of a bleg. I’m quite taken with Nassella laevissima, a tussock grass from Chile, in a beautiful planting at the UC Botanical Garden. I’ve been to that garden a bunch of times this year, and that meadow always strikes me as just about the best thing in the entire garden. But I’ve never seen it growing anywhere else around here. I probably saw it when I was in Chile fifteen years ago; I remember lots of beautiful grasses like this and it’s listed on the plantlists for some of the parks I visited. But no one seems to grow it here; I haven’t seen it in any of the new sod mixes, on any of the availability lists, at any of the specialty grass nurseries, or in anyone’s garden. Even online all of the photos are of this one single planting at the UC. I asked a friend who works at the botanic garden and she says it has been there for years and always looks this great with very little maintenance. Also, she says it doesn’t reseed like its poorly behaved relative, Mexican Feather Grass. So I’m just curious about why no one else grows it here in California. If anyone does know anything about it, please let me know.

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9 Responses to “Nassella laevissima”

  1. October 23rd, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    lostlandscape (James) says:

    Love the lumpy effect, and I’m glad to hear it’s not a serial reseeder.

  2. October 24th, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Scott says:

    Just lovely…love that texture and patterning…just lovely!

  3. January 7th, 2012 at 11:21 am

    chuck b. says:

    I love that meadow too, and I have also been moved to take many pictures of that grass.

  4. November 20th, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Spencer Woodard says:

    Hello, I came across your site when searching for a supplier for this grass. I thought I’d ask you if you ever found somewhere to purchase it, plants or seeds?


  5. November 21st, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    ryan says:

    No, I never found a source. I’ve grown ever more appreciative of it since this post, so let me know if you find one.

  6. June 29th, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Anonymous says:

    UCB BG docent said it’s a weed.

  7. June 29th, 2013 at 8:11 am

    ryan says:

    Thanks, anonymous. That’s good to know.

  8. September 20th, 2013 at 11:38 am

    anotheranonymous says:

    I recently bought it at Annie’s Annuals and Perennials at ther Richmond, CA location, if that’s of help. Looking forward to it growing.

  9. February 2nd, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Claudia says:

    Just saw it in the new Annie’s Spring 2014 catalog. Gorgeous!

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