Graceful Grasses

Purple Fountain Grass
     In my backyard, my sanctuary here in the desert, I wanted some bushes with height.  I also wanted to introduce some color and distinct shapes that contrasted with the other bushes in the yard.  I finally settled on two ornamental grasses that have a flowing form and soft structure: Purple Fountain grass and Deer grass.  I have several of each.

     The burgundy-toned Purple Fountain grass is heat-tolerant, low maintenance, pest and disease free.  It is considered a perennial in zones 9 (my zone) and ten.  It turns brown in the fall.  My husband cut them down to about 8 inches last winter, and they have all grown back to about 4 feet tall.  The feathery seed heads at the end of the stalks are very showy spring through fall.

Purple Fountain Grass seed heads
The Deer grass forms a dense, green clump at the base out of which arise several white, spike-like flower stalks.  Most of these flower/seed stalks stand straight up, while the stalks of the fountain grass arch over.  Deer grass is a perennial bunch grass that is drought-tolerant and low maintenance.  The Deer grass is supposed to grow to about 4 feet tall.  Mine are a year old and have grown to about 31/2 feet tall.  The Deer grass did not turn brown in the fall, and I did not prune it.  I have done nothing to the Deer grass since it has been planted.  These two grasses are lovely and graceful when they sway in the breeze.  It is soothing to watch their movement.  They soften and temper the look of the hard rock covering on the yard.  They are my most favorite plants in the yard.

Deer Grass

Deer Grass seed stalks


  1. Hi Lana,
    Love your grasses, especially the Purple Fountain Grass. I grow it every year too. You're lucky that it's perennial where you live -- I wish it was here!

  2. Thanks, Sherry. The grasses are real standouts in the yard.

  3. Your grasses are stunningly beautiful, and the images illustrate how evocative they can be – dancing in a breeze, blowing in the wind. Now that the rain is taking a short break, here I go to get a quick look at mine.


  4. Thanks for your comment, Lee. Watching the grasses dance in the breese helps me come to a quiet, meditative state. They are very calming.