Beak Grass

Diarrhena obovata

An ornamental native grass for the shade, Beak Grass is an attractive clump-forming grass with 3/4" wide, glossy green leaf blades. The grassy base is generally around 18” high, and the flowering stalks reach up to 30 inches, leaning to the side as the flowers develop

More Detail
Plants 3" Pots
1-4 $6.99 ea.
5-10 $5.99 ea.
11-31 $4.99 ea.
32+ $3.99 ea.
Availability: In stock
SKU
43911-03
Cultural Details
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil Moisture Medium, Moist, Wet
Sun Exposure Full Sun, Partial, Shade
Height 1' - 3'
Bloom Color Green
Bloom Time July
Spacing 18"
Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Root Type Fibrous, Rhizome
Benefits Birds, Deer Resistant

An ornamental native grass for the shade, Beak Grass is an attractive clump-forming grass with 3/4" wide, glossy green leaf blades. The grassy base is generally around 18” high, and the flowering stalks reach up to 30 inches, leaning to the side as the flowers develop. Flowering occurs early to midsummer and gives way to the beak-shaped seed heads for which the grass is named. In the shade garden, Beak Grass is most distinctive in late summer and early fall, when the beaked grains are present. The wide arching leaves are a late-season attraction, turning gold in fall and light tan in winter.  
 
Native to the rich forests and woodlands of the central Midwest and the upper Mid Atlantic (see range map), Beak Grass is listed as rare, threatened or endangered in various parts of its range. It is found in high quality natural woodlands growing along riverbanks and other partially wooded areas where it tolerates seasonal flooding. A great candidate for stabilizing stream banks, it is also an excellent medium-height groundcover for shady areas. Light shade is preferred, with loam or clay soil and plenty of decaying leaves. 
 
Beak Grass (Diarrhena obovata) was formerly classified as a variety of American Beak Grass (Diarrhena americana), but they have been re-classified as two distinct species with Diarrhena obavata having a more northern range and a slightly larger grain.

Botanical Synonyms
Diarrhena americana var. obovata
Planting and Cultivation Notes
Beak Grass can form large colonies in ideal conditions, but is not an aggressive spreader. Mature plants can be divided and spread about to promote groundcover.