Thistle Down Nursery
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Graphic Graphic
Graphic Graphic


From the Bluebird Collection

JUNCUS Effuses Spiralis - Corkscrew Rush
Soft densely tufted dark green foliage with strong spirals to 1 foot. Likes moist conditions and can withstand bog areas or standing water up to 5 inches deep. Zone 4.
STIPA capillata 32 inches - Zone 4

Golden plume like seed heads

From the Yoder Collection

ACORUS - Sweet Flag
Variegatus (White-striped Japanese Sweet Flag): 6-12". Green & white striped leaves. Needs a moist location. Z4-11.
CALAMAGROSTIS - Reed Grass (Sun/Part Shade)
Acutiflora Overdam - Feather Reed Grass: 2-3' (Sun/Light Shade) White-edged erect leaves in compact clumps, with pink plumes in early summer. Z5-9

Karl Foerster: 6' Deep green foliage. Golden flowers. PPA Plant of the Year 2001. Z5-9
CAREX - muskingumensis (Palm Sedge)
Narrow tapered leaves of rich green, native to North America. Prefers wet feet and will grow in shallow water. Z4.
CHASMANTHIUM - Northern Sea Oats (Sun/Part Shade)
Iatifolium: 3' Clump-forming, bamboo-like grass. Showy flower dries well. Z5-10
ERIANTHUS - Ravenna Grass, Northern Pampas Grass (Sun)
Ravennae: 10-14'plumes tower over 5' foliage in late summer. Specimen plant. Z6-9
FESTUCA - Fescue
Glauca 'Elijah Blue': 8". Full sun, grows to about 12 inches tall with a spread of 18 inches. Likes full sun and well drained soil. The best and bluest of the blue fescues. Z4-8
LEYMUS - Wild Rye (Sun)
arenarius (formerly Elymus) 2-3'
Arching clumps of metallic blue-gray foliage.
MISCANTHUS (Sun) August-October.
Oligostachyus 'Purpurascens': 4-5' Reddish hue develops through summer; entire plant turns red in fall. Z5-9

Autumn Light: 3-4'. Good yellow fall color. Very hardy and vigorous. Z4-9

Cabaret: 4-6'. Wide ribbon-like leaf with bright white center stripe and dark green margins. Coppery flowers fade to pink, then cream. Z5-9

Gracillimus (Maiden Grass): 6-8'. Slender leaves; graceful arching habit. The standard against which all others are measured. Z6-9

Morning Light: 4-5' , Variegated 'Gracillimus.' Excellent container plant. Z5-9

Sarabande: 4-6'. "Among the finest," says Emerald Coast. Elegant silver foliage. Z4-9
PANICUM - Switch Grass (Sun) August
Virgatum 'Cloud Nine' 6-8'. A tall, blue-green switch grass. Z5-9

Heavy Metal: To 4'. Stiff, upright columns of metallic blue foliage. A Longwood Gardens selection. Z4-9

Shenandoah: 4' Best burgundy color of all switch grasses. Deep green spring growth turns deep red by midsummer. Z4-9
PENNISETUM - Fountain Grass (Sun) August Alopecuroides: 4' ' Arching leaves. Longlasting reddish flower tassels. Z6-9

Hameln: 1-2'. Dwarf form with silvery pink plumes. Z6-9

Little Bunny: Miniature form, just 1' or less at maturity. Z6-9,

Rubrum: 3-4'. Deep red foliage topped by dramatic purple/red plumes starting in June. Z9-10

Eaton Canyon' (Dwarf Rubrum): 2-3'. Read the above and subtract a foot. Z9-10
PHALARIS - Ribbon Grass (Sun/Partial Shade) June-July.
Strawberries and Cream ('Feesey'): 12" Similar to Picta, but the green and white striped foliage is also blushed with pink. Very showy. Z4-9
SORGHASTRUM - Indian Grass
Indian Steel
4'. Clump forming with striking metallic blue foliage. Upright blooms in August. Z4.

From the Shady Oaks Collection

Carex muskingumensis 'Oehme' Carex muskingumensis 'Oehme' (Variegated Palm Sedge) This is a variegated selection of the American Palm Sedge which grows around the Great Lakes region. Oehme is a sport found in the garden of Wolfgang Oehme which has the typical palm-tree like growth habit, but with an attractive gold margin around the leaves. Carex muskingumensis Oehme grows best in wet soils and does well in sun to light shade. Hardy in Zones 4 to 9.
Hakonechloa macra Hakonechloa macra Possessing all the grace and charm of the more widely cultivated variety 'Aureola', the green form makes a worthy garden addition as well. Superb planted along paths or near rocks, the arching foliage provides a soothing, tranquil effect to the shaded landscape. Best growth occurs in moist, well drained soils in light shade. Hardy in Zones 4 to 9.
Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' The graceful form and beautiful variegation of this grass make it one of the most beloved plants of the shade garden. Spectacular bright yellow and green leaves cascade gracefully all in the same direction. Hakone Grass makes a superb specimen plant or choice selection for mass planting. It is also ideal in combination planters. Best growth occurs in partial to full shade in moist well drained soils rich in organic matter. Hakonechloa slowly forms a clump ultimately 8 to 12 inches tall and up to 3 feet wide over time. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9.

From the Walters Gardens Collection

ACORUS (Variegated Sweet Flag) ACORUS (Variegated Sweet Flag)
calamus 'Variegatus'
36" This popular cultivar has long narrow leaves with green and creamy white bands. The grass like foliage is dramatic in water or around water in pots or tubs.Does very well in the garden. Non-invasive. Zone 4.
ACORUS (Variegated Sweet Flag)
gramineus 'Oborozuki'
8-12 inches. Grass like gold foliage with green stripes. Great water or bog plant.
Graphic CALAMAGROSTIS (Feather Reed Grass) Zones 5-8
acutiflora 'Overdam' 5' (early summer)
(Variegated Feather Reed Grass) Foliage starts out with bright yellow margins that fade to white with a pink flush. Sand colored flower heads. Nice clumping habit.

acutiflora 'Avalanche' (early summer)
4-5 feet.
Very nice variegated form of 'Karl Foerster'. The white centers are stylishly accented with a green margin. The variegation remains distinctively appealing throughout the season.
Karl Foerster 'Karl Foerster' 5' (early summer)
Showy, feather plumes with striking, erect, wheat-colored seed heads. Upright habit. 2001 Perennial Plant Association Plant of the Year.
CAREX (Sedge) Zones 5-9

Beatlemania 6 inches
A mop head carex similar to the haircuts of the Beatles. Arching 12 inch long leaves form a clump up to 24 inches across yet only 6 inches high.
CAREX (Sedge) Kaga-nishiki 15 inches
(Gold Fountains) Clump forming sedge has slender, elegant leaves with a border of gold.
CHASMANTHIUM (Northern Sea Oats) CHASMANTHIUM (Northern Sea Oats) Zones 3-8
24-36" midsummer
Clumping grass that is treasured for its showy, drooping flowers and rich, bamboo-like foliage. Effective in mass plantings as well as a good choice for shady, damp conditions. Flowers are very attractive throughout its various stages of maturity Excellent cut flowers.
ERIANTHUS (Plume Grass) ERIANTHUS (Plume Grass) Zones 5-9
late summer
This graceful grass has narrow, silvery white flowers. Often confused with Pampas Grass (Cortaderia) but is more hardy. Lovely autumn color.
FESTUCA (Sheeps Fescue, Blue Fescue) FESTUCA (Sheeps Fescue, Blue Fescue) Zones 4-8
glauca 'Elijah Blue' 10" summer
Full sun, grows to about 12 inches tall with a spread of 18 inches. Likes full sun and well drained soil. The best and bluest of the blue fescues. One of the nicest blues. Color holds up well throughout the summer.
HAKONECHLOA (Gold Variegated Hakone Grass) HAKONECHLOA (Gold Variegated Hakone Grass) Zones 6-9
Bright yellow-green variegated foliage. Does best in rich soil and partial shade. An excellent accent plant. Part sun will bring out more golden yellow color.
HELICTOTRICHON (Avena, Blue Oat Grass) HELICTOTRICHON (Avena, Blue Oat Grass) Zones 3-8
sempervirens 24-30" early summer
Stiff blue-gray foliage, nice habit, no stolons. Resembles a tall-type of Festuca. 2 feet, sometimes taller.
Sapphire 24 inches - early summer
Best blue color, the leaves are a bit wider at maturity.
MISCANTHUS (Eulaha or Maiden Grass) MISCANTHUS (Eulaha or Maiden Grass) Zones 5-9
Gracillimus 5-6' early fall
Upright, narrow leaves. Feathery, fine-textured creamy flowers.
Huron Sunrise Zone 4. 5-6 feet - late summer
Medium width foliage with a natural silver midrib line. Burgundy flowers in mid August. Holds leaves during the winter.
MISCANTHUS (Eulaha or Maiden Grass)
Morning Light 4-5' Zones 5-9 - early fall
Fine blades with distinct variegation of green and white stripes give a silvery cast when viewed from a distance. The late season flowers emerge bronzy-red in color and turn cream as they age. Combines well with glaucous plants and other pastels.
PANICUM (Switch Grass) PANICUM (Switch Grass) Zones 4-9
'Dallas Blues' 6-8' late summer
Introduced by Ken and Linda Smith (who also introduced Coreopsis 'Tequila Sunrise'). Probably one of the best wide leaf blues. Lofty pastel mauve flower heads over 22 inches long have a purple cast and appear in late summer. Good winter color.
Graphic PANICUM (Switch Grass) Zones 4-9
virgatum 'Heavy Metal' 36-42' fall
Handsome grass with stiff, metallic blue leaves that form an upright clump. Delicate pink flowers grow 12-16 inches above the foliage. Turns bright yellow in the fall.
Graphic PANICUM (Switch Grass) Zones 5-9
virgatum 'Shenandoah' 36" summer
This bright red panicum, introduced by Dr. Hans Simon of Germany, is bound to be very popular. Color of foliage appears in June. Red flowers appear in summer. One of the shortest varieties.
PENNISETUM (Fountain Grass) PENNISETUM (Fountain Grass) Zones 5-9
alopecuroides 36"-48" summer
Narrow, gracefully arching foliage. Cylindrical 4-5" seed heads of rose-copper.
Graphic PENNISETUM (Fountain Grass) Zones 5-9
alopecuroides 'Hameln' 24" late summer
(Dwarf Fountain Grass) More compact, smaller version of the species with finer textured leaves.
2000 MNLA Growers Choice Award.
PENNISETUM (Fountain Grass) PENNISETUM (Fountain Grass) Zones 5-9
alopecuroides 'Little Bunny' 11" late summer
(Miniature Fountain Grass) A very small dwarf fountain grass. Handsomely tufted with miniature flower plumes. Excellent for the rock garden.
PENNISETUM (Fountain Grass) PENNISETUM (Fountain Grass) Zones 5-9
setaceum 'Rubrum 30-36" late summer
(Purple Leaved Fountain Grass) Zone 8. USE AS AN ANNUAL. Beautiful purple foliage tipped by dramatic red-purple plumes. Splendid as a container plant as well as in mass plantings. Unbeatable rich color to liven up the perennial border. (Requires a 45 degree greenhouse for overwintering)
PHALARIS (Ribbon Grass) PHALARIS (Ribbon Grass) Zones 3-9
arundinacea 'Feesey' 24" (Strawberry and Cream)
Green and white striped foliage blushed with pink.

Rapid spreading. Ribbon Grass does very well in poor, dry soils but is also very moisture tolerant.
SCHIZACHYRIUM (Little Bluestem) SCHIZACHYRIUM (Little Bluestem) Zones 4-10
scoparium 36" late summer
Native prairie grass. Leaves can have a green or blue hue, turning cinnamon-red by fall. Fluffy, silver-white seed stalks.
Graphic GYPSOPHILA (Baby's Breath) Zones 3-9
The cultivars of G. paniculata 'Bristol Fair' and'Perfecta' are all propagated by tissue culture and are first generation plants.

Plants that are produced IN VITRO by tissue culture methods result in consistent and vigorous plant growth, thick, healthy stems and superiorflowering performance.

Gypsophila is excellent in fresh or dried flower arrangements. Blooms in June-July and again late in summer if flowers are cut. Prefers a slightly alkaline soil and excellent drainage.

paniculata 'Bristol Fairy' 36" summer
Large panicles of double white. Excellent for cutting.
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