California Poppy, the state flower

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California Native Bunchgrasses
Seeds and Plants

Click here for sowing information.

Beginner's Bunchgrass Sale
$28.50 value for $24.95

$28.50
SALE -
$24.95
These four bunchgrass species are found in many parts of California. Easy and adaptable, they are a good way to begin your bunchgrass education. This offer includes 1/2 oz each of : Junegrass (Koeleria macrantha), Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis), purple needlegrass (Nassella pulchra), and red fescue (Festuca rubra). Also includes pamphlet Notes on Native Grasses.
Quantity


Golden State Native Grass Erosion Mix

Composed of three quick-growing, perennial native bunchgrasses (blue wildrye, California brome, and California meadow barley) which will provide soil cover on denuded slopes. Also acts as nurse plants for the longer-lived, initially slower-growing native species. One pound covers approximately 2000 sq. ft. Seeding rate is 15-20 lbs. per acre. May be sown with plugs of stipas, fescues, etc.

1/2 lb - $15.00
Quantity
1 lb - $25.00
Quantity

The Grassless Lawn Combo:
Yarrow & Coastal Poppy Mix

For light lawn use, strolling not soccer, we have had good success on the coast with a combination of Achillea millefolium, yarrow, and Eschscholzia californica var. californica, the coastal poppy. These two tough and vigorous perennials can be mowed for a lawnlike effect or left to flower for a flowery meadow. Drought-tolerant on the coast once established, it needs occasional water inland. Seeding rates: 12-15# per acre, 1# per 800 sq. ft., and one ounce sows approximately 50 square feet.

1 oz. - $10.00
Quantity
1/4 lb. - $25.00
Quantity
1 lb. - $60.00
Quantity

good to eat
butterfly nectar
caterpillar
hand collected
hummingbird
pollinator


Anthoxanthum occidentale
Vanilla Grass, California Sweetgrass

A delight to encounter in coastal forests, this rich green 1.5' tall erect grass has delicate white flowers and a marvellous vanilla fragrance, particularly when dried. Likes semi-shade and some summer moisture.  Packets only.

Packet - $6.50
Quantity
Live 4" plant
$7.50
Quantity
Anthoxanthum occidentale
by Gordon Leppig &
Andrea J. Pickart

good to eat
caterpillar

Bromus carinatus
California Brome

A vigorous brome to 2' tall. Good nurse plant for stipas, fescues, etc. Seeds eaten by quail and used for pinole. Larval food plant for the Umber Skipper butterfly. Seeding rate: 8 lbs./acre

Packet - $4.50
Quantity
Bromus carinatus (California Brome)

Hand collected seed

Calamagrostis nutkaensis
Pacific Reed Grass

A large handsome grass from the central and north coast, growing 3-4' tall and equally wide. Light-green blades. Striking as accent plant or as background in "grass gardens". We use it as a foundation planting. Rake in spring to clean up.  Packets only.

Packet - $6.00
Quantity
Calamagrostis nutkaensis (Pacific Reed Grass) - A large handsome grass from the central and north coast, growing 3-4' tall and equally wide. Light-green blades. Striking as accent plant or as background in "grass gardens". We use it as a foundation planting. Rake in spring to clean up. Photo by Arvind Kumar.
photo by Arvind Kumar

Carex praegracilis
Slender Sedge

A large handsome grass from the central and north coast, growing 3-4' tall and equally wide. Light-green blades. Striking as accent plant or as background in "grass gardens". We use it as a foundation planting. Rake in spring to clean up.  Packets only.

Packet - $4.50
Quantity
Carex praegracilis (Slender Sedge)

Hand collected seed

Danthonia californica
California Oatgrass

Bunchgrass 1.5' tall with dense leafy tufts, found throughout mountains and coast ranges of California in both open and partly shaded areas. It is considered an "ice-cream plant" by range specialists because of its extreme palatability to livestock. Withstands trampling and traffic. Limited availability, one packets per order.

Packet - $6.50
Quantity
Live 4" plant
$6.50
not currently available
Click here to view bulk quantity prices
Danthonia Californica (California Oatgrass)

Deschampsia cespitosa
Tufted Hairgrass

One of the most important range species of the West and often grown as an ornamental. Withstands close grazing. Valuable in controlling soil erosion. Found in mountain meadows. Clumps are 1'-3' high. Seeding rate: 6 lbs./acre.

Packet - $6.50
Quantity
Deschampsia cespitosa (Tufted Hairgrass)

Hand collected seed

Deschampsia cespitosa ssp. holciformis
Coastal Hairgrass

A must for the coastal prairie or sea-bluff garden, this ornamental low-growing grass is broader than it is tall, forming neat clumps 8-l2" tall and 2' wide. Dark-green leaves give pincushion effect.  Packets only.

Packet - $6.00 Not currently available

Deschampsia elongata
Slender Hairgrass

One of the prettiest small native grasses. Graceful, fine-textured, bright-green perennial from partly-shaded, moist areas. Upright tufts green up early in spring, turn soft-gold in summer.

Packet - $6.00
Quantity
Deschampsia elongata (Slender Hairgrass)

Hand collected seed

Elymus californicus
California Bottlebrush Grass

A tall, robust grass with nodding brushlike spikes. Confined to coastal counties, it is a handsome grass found in both shaded banks and wooded areas, including redwood forests. Culms are 3-6' tall. Rare. Packets only.

Packet - $6.50
Quantity
Elymus californicus
Copyright © 2009
by Neal Kramer

good to eat

Elymus glaucus
Blue Wildrye

Tufted perennial 3-4 ft. tall, common in foothills and lower mountain slopes. Useful for forage early in season. Grows with oaks and conifers. Often used in revegetation. Makes excellent pinole. Light shade. Seeding rate: 8 lbs./acre.

Packet - $6.00
Quantity
Elymus glaucus (Blue Wildrye)

good to eat

Elymus trachycaulus
Slender or Bearded Wheatgrass

Grows on clay flats and near woods, often found along roads, and by creeks. Graceful. Edible seeds.

Packet - $6.00
Quantity
Elymus trachycaulus

Hand collected seed

Festuca californica
California Fescue

It is always a pleasure to see this grass growing in large masses. Part of the beauty of California fescue is the way the plants space themselves in nature, staggered in an orderly pattern down banks and slopes. Based on the ultimate width of this species, each plant should be at least 18" to 24" from the other. Broadcasting this seed directly to the ground will therefore lead to a certain amount of waste.
Sowing the seed in flats, transplanting to pots, and from there to the garden works very well. They can then be spaced correctly, quickly becoming beautiful, holding the soil with their large fibrous roots, and fairly resistant to weeds.
Packet - $6.00
Quantity
not currently available in bulk
Festuca californica (California Fescue) - Often used in landscaping, this grass is always striking, whether cascading down oak-dotted slopes or growing in manzanita forests. Blue-green bunchgrass with blades to 2', the bunches are wider than that, with graceful panicles rising above the blades. Drought tolerant and will grow in sun or shade. Broadcast sowing not recommended.

caterpillar

Festuca idahoensis
Idaho Fescue, Blue Fescue

Densely tufted bunchgrass with fine basal foliage of a lovely blue-green, growing 2' tall. It is ranked highly as forage and is well known as an ornamental. Sun or shade. Larval food plant for lindsey's skipper butterfly. A stand of this grass makes a good place for a luxurious nap. Seeding rate: 8 lbs./acre.

Packet - $6.00
Quantity
Festuca idahoensis (Idaho Fescue, Blue Fescue)

Festuca rubra
Red Fescue

Easy to grow and often used with wildflowers, this rich green to blue-green bunchgrass can withstand some shade and makes a lovely naturalistic "lumpy lawn" or soft bank cover. Adaptable to many soil types and situations. Bunching habit but also spreads through short rhizomes. Direct-sow or seed in flats.

Packet - $6.00
Quantity
Live 4" plant
$6.50
Not currently available
Festuca rubra (Red Fescue)

good to eat

Hordeum brachyantherum var. californica
California Meadow Barley

Tufted perennial 10-30" tall growing throughout California, from the mountain meadow to mesas above the sea. Seeding rate: 10 lbs./acre

Packet - $6.00
Quantity
Hordeum brachyantherum v. californica

Koeleria macrantha
June Grass

An attractive bunchgrass with a rich green leaf color which is most abundant in the coast ranges but also high altitudes. Succulent forage for livestock, withstands heavy grazing. 1.5' tall. Grows in many different situations, including clay and rocky soils, shrubland, alpine, and woodland. Packets only. Seeding rate: 6 lbs./acre.

Packet - $6.00
Quantity
Koeleria macrantha (June Grass)

Leymus triticoides
Creeping Wildrye

Rhizomatous native grass for the large landscape. Grows 2 to 4 ft. tall with upright spikes 8 in. long. Graceful, understated, "Oriental" effect. Likes some moisture but can do without. Easy, tough, and widespread.

Packet - $6.00
Quantity
Leymus triticoides

Melica californica
California Melic Grass

California melic grass is one of the smaller native bunchgrasses, growing from 1-2' tall and about 8" wide. It's an adaptable grass, found in California and Oregon from the mountains to the coastal prairies and even on serpentine soil. The inflorescence is purple-banded green spikelets that in a mass make an interesting design statement. Blooms in late spring. When watered occasionally through the summer, our initial planting bloomed and set a whole new seed-crop in September. Packets only.

Packet - $6.00
Quantity
Melica californica (California Melic Grass)

Hand collected seed
Pollen source for pollinators

Melica torreyana
Torrey's Melic Grass

This lovely grass is a strong reseeder frequently found in challenging conditions, such as dry banks and road-cuts in part to full shade. Makes striking, eye-catching masses while in flower and seed. Flower stalks have a graceful arching habit. Grows 18” tall and 1’ wide. Also found in coastal scrub and chaparral in full sun if roots are shaded. Excellent under oaks. Goes dormant mid-summer and should then be cut back hard. Easy from seed. Accepts sun near the coast and some summer water. Good in bouquets. A charmer.

Packet - $6.00
Quantity

caterpillar

Muhlenbergia rigens
Deergrass, Basketgrass

Forms dense clumps 2' to 3' tall and equally wide. Excellent for erosion control on dry open ground. It is an important California Indian basket material. Used in landscaping all over the state, it is an adaptable, handsome grass making a strong design statement. Requires warmth to germinate. Broadcast seeding not recommended.

Packet - $6.00
Quantity
Click here to view bulk quantity prices
Muhlenbergia rigens (Deergrass) - Forms dense clumps 2' to 3' tall and equally wide. Excellent for erosion control on dry open ground. It is an important California Indian basket material. Used in landscaping all over the state, it is an adaptable, handsome grass making a strong design statement. Requires warmth to germinate. Broadcast seeding not recommended. Photo by Arvind Kumar.
photo by Arvind Kumar

NEW
Phalaris californica

California canarygrass

An interesting and unusual native bunchgrass with a graceful bamboo-like appearance. Found along the coast in openings in evergreen woodland and coastal scrub, canarygrass is vigorous but not too much so. Grows to 4" tall with an upright habit, and 1-2 ft wide. 1-gallon plants. $14.00.

Live plant,
1 gallon
$15.00
Quantity
Phalaris californica (California canarygrass)

Sporobolus airoides
Alkali Sacaton

Large, (2'-3' tall round clumps), tough, and beautiful grass from seasonal wetlands and alkali sinks in central and southern California, including the deserts. Strikingly ornamental purplish plumes provide delicate beauty on two to four foot tall stems. Drought-tolerant but more ornamental with occasional irrigation. Easily grown from seed. Pale gray-green foliage turns golden tan in winter. Excellent for gardens or restoration projects.

Packet - $6.00
Quantity
Click here to view bulk quantity prices
Sporobolus airoides (alkali sacaton)

Stipa cernua
Nodding Needlegrass, Nodding Stipa

In cultivation one of the most striking of the native bunchgrasses. Range similar to Nassela pulchra. In flower and seed, a stunning gleaming show of panicles, reaching to 2'. Seeding rate: 8-10 lbs./acre.

Packet - $6.00
Quantity
Stipa cernua

Stipa hymenoides
Indian Rice Grass

We decided to offer this grass after reading Edith V. A. Murphey's description (see Books): "This bunchgrass is important to Indian life because it will grow without water in pure sand and furnishes food for man and beast. It has been destroyed in many areas by overgrazing. Seed was ground into mush." Ornamental, drought-tolerant, and graceful. Excellent addition to the wildflower meadow and good specimen plant. 1.5' tall and 1' wide. Seeding rate: 10 lb./acre. Cold stratification recommended.

Packet - $6.00
Quantity
Stipa hymenoides (Indian Rice Grass)

Stipa lepida
Foothill Needlegrass, Foothill Stipa

Fine basal leafage remains light green after annual vegetation has dried. This appealing grass grows from 1-2 feet tall with graceful drooping particles. It withstands shading and makes rapid growth after a fire. Seeding rate: 8-10 lbs./acre.

Packet - $6.00
Quantity
Live 4" plant
$6.50
not currently available
Stipa lepida

Stipa pulchra
Purple Needlegrass

State Grass of California, one of major species of California grasslands. Valuable as erosion control and forage, needs protection from grazing during flowering period. Greens up early in season. Foliage to 1.5' tall, graceful flowering stalks to 2'. Larval food plant for the California ringlet butterfly. Seeding rate: 6-8 lbs./acre.

Packet - $6.00
Quantity
Live 4" plant
$6.50
Quantity
Stipa pulchra (Purple Needlegrass) - State Grass of California, one of major species of California grasslands. Valuable as erosion control and forage, needs protection from grazing during flowering period. Greens up early in season. Foliage to 1.5' tall, graceful flowering stalks to 2'. Larval food plant for the California Ringlet butterfly.

An Introduction to Native Grasses

A key element in the ecology of our native flora. the native bunchgrasses have captured the imagination of plant-lovers of many different orientations. A crucial part of restoration ecology, they are also charming additions to the plant palette of the innovative garden designer. 

Spending time in relic stands of bunchgrasses feels much like spending time in old-growth forest, and indeed, it is said that individual plants of some species may be 100-300 years old. The look and feel of native bunchgrass prairies is uniquely Californian. The third booklet in our "Notes" series, Notes on Native Grasses, gives background in-formation and practical planting instructions for these valuable Natives. 

Unlike sod-forming lawn grasses, the native bunchgrasses, with their massive root systems, are useful as bankholders, as specimen plants, and as components of what we call "the grass garden." The native meadow acquires richness and structure when bunchgrasses are added, for once the annual wildflowers have gone to seed, the grasses will hold the soil and the eye. 

Sowing Directions: One packet will sow 20 to 100 plants, depending on the species. Grasses available only by the packet, laboriously hand-collected, should be sown in flats, transplanted into pots, and then into the garden. Species available in bulk can be broadcast; that is, sown directly into the ground.

Seeding techniques for broadcast sowing are the same as for any seeds. Soil should be as free of weeds as possible. Soil amendments are usually not required. Seed should be covered to approximately twice the depths of the seed, either by raking into existing soil or adding 1/2" to 1" of soil or humus on top of seed. Tamp for good seed/soil contact. Keep evenly moist till seed germinates and makes good growth.


Larner Seeds
PO Box 407,
Bolinas, CA 94924

Shop & Demonstration Garden,
235 Grove Rd
Bolinas, CA

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415.868.9407
415.868.2592 fax

info@larnerseeds.com


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