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HELICTOTRICHON sempervirens 'Sapphire Fountain'

Image of Helictotrichon sempervirens 'Sapphire Fountain' ('Saphirsprudel')

James H. Schutte

Family

Poaceae

Botanical Name

HELICTOTRICHON sempervirens 'Sapphire Fountain' ('('Saphirsprudel')')

Plant Common Name

Blue Oat Grass, Sapphire Fountain Grass

General Description

Super bright metallic blue color and good rust resistance set 'Sapphire Fountain' apart from other blue oat grasses.Helictotrichon sempervirens originates from southwestern Europe where it naturally resides in open forests, meadows and rocky slopes. Once established, this clump-forming, evergreen to semi-evergreen perennial will tolerate both heat and drought.

In late spring to early summer, the spiky clumps of frosty blue foliage present tall, soft, arching panicles of grassy flowers. The dry brown seedheads that follow can self-sow, so it is best to cut them back. This will also keep the clumps looking finished and neat.

Full sun and an open planting site with good airflow are important for good health. Average to fertile, rocky soil with good drainage is preferred as are locations where humidity is low. This grass will not tolerate “wet feet” and is especially intolerant of cold, wet conditions. Rust can be a problem, especially in humid climates. This is a lovely grass for rock gardens, large open, naturalistic plantings and containers.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Grass

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Europe, Mediterranean

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Tan

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Blue Green, Steel Blue

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Blue Green, Steel Blue

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Blue Green, Steel Blue

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Blue Green, Tan, Steel Blue

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edging, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes