Imperata cylindrica

Water Needs

moderate; high

Imperata cylindrica
Grass
Cotton-wool Grass

1 m to 1.2 m when in flower

Size

Light Conditions

sun

Frost

hardy

Flowers

white; silver-white; August to June; winter; spring; summer; autumn

sun; damp sun; water; wildlife birds butterfly host

Garden Situation

Habitat

wetland pond; streams; grassland; fynbos

Region

thicket; Highveld; Subtropical East Coast; Bushveld savanna; Karoo; Western Cape

Rain Season

summer; winter

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Description

An attractive, slender and upright grass for the garden that occurs throughout much of South Africa. It is used around the world to help stabilise the soils on steep slopes; in South Africa, it is also a valuable thatching grass. Leaves have a prominent mid-rib, are hard and stiff and taper to a sharp point. Fresh green spring and summer leaves turn red-brown in winter. Plants have a creeping habit and can become invasive in gardens. It is a butterfly host plant.

Imperata cylindrica
Imperata cylindrica