Best of the bunch: Stipa giganta

Flowers may be fading, but many ornamental grasses are still going strong, providing structure, movement and colour to borders and pots.

Sunday, 13th October 2013, 6:00 am
Stipa gigantica

Among the best in autumn is Stipa gigantea, or golden oats, originally from Spain and Portugal, which forms neat hummocks of narrow mid-green leaves to 70cm (28in) long, carrying clouds of green flowers on erect stems to 1.5m (5ft) in early summer.

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In autumn the flowers turn a deep golden brown as they age and persist well into winter. Wait until early spring to cut them down, along with any dead leaves. Grow S. gigantea as a specimen or as a gauzy screen at the back of a border.