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ornamental grass

Bulbous Oat Grass

Arrhenatherum elatum 'Variegatum'

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Bulbous Oat Grass (Arrhenatherum elatum 'Variegatum') at Eagle Lake Nurseries

Bulbous Oat Grass foliage

Bulbous Oat Grass foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Bulbous Oat Grass (Arrhenatherum elatum 'Variegatum') at Eagle Lake Nurseries

Bulbous Oat Grass

Bulbous Oat Grass

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  15 inches

Spread:  13 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  2a

Other Names:  Varigated Oat Grass

Ornamental Features

Bulbous Oat Grass is primarily valued in the garden for its cascading habit of growth. It attractive grassy leaves remain grayish green in colour with showy creamy white variegation throughout the season.

Landscape Attributes

Bulbous Oat Grass is a dense herbaceous perennial grass with a shapely form and gracefully arching stems. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Bulbous Oat Grass is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Bulbous Oat Grass will grow to be about 15 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 13 inches. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 8 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen! As this plant tends to go dormant in summer, it is best interplanted with late-season bloomers to hide the dying foliage.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under typical garden conditions. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selection of a native North American species. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Garden 
Foliage Color  Texture  Plant Form 
Ornamental Features