Ornamental clumping grasses with narrow, rough leaves obscured by clouds of yellowish ower panicles in late spring or early summer. Use in mass plantings. Best suited to Upper South. Evergreen in warmer part of range, semievergreen in colder part.
D. cespitosa. US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8. TUFTED HAIR GRASS. Native to much of North America, but most forms are imports from Europe. Dark green foliage. Purple-tinged greenish yellow panicles persist into winter. Fountainlike clumps typically 23 ft. high in bloom. 'Bronzeschleier' ('Bronzy Veil') has bronzy yellow blooms. Selections with golden yellow owers include 'Goldgehange', 'Goldschleier', 'Goldstaub'. The leaves of 'Northern Lights' are variegated creamy white and turn pink in winter. D. c. vivipara, also known as 'Fairy's Joke', produces plantlets instead of seeds; these droop to the ground and may take root. All of the above forms of D. cespitosa take regular water
D. exuosa. CRINKLED HAIR GRASS. US, MS; USDA 6-7. Glossy, wiry green leaves in tight clumps 12 ft. high. Nodding, purple-tinged owers mature to a yellowish brown color. Succeeds in dry woodland shade, as well as in sunnier or moister situations.