Danthonia spicata (Fr: danthonie à épi | En: poverty oatgrass)
A grass you don’t have to worry about dying and turning brown, because this one arguably looks nicer dead than alive. Dead blades of this bunchgrass produce distinctive curls that make it easily recognizable.
Danthonia spicata is a grass of extreme environments found on sand dunes and rock barrens that can heat up to 60 Celsius on a hot summer day. This tough grass is therefore perfect to plant next to concrete, asphalt or patio stones. It is also quite drought resistant and can take quite the beating of being stepped on.
This grass is naturally short and can even tolerate some mowing. However, it is often outcompeted by invasive grasses in areas with richer soils.
Several skipper butterflies nurse their young on this grass, and it is a favourite of many grasshoppers and crickets as well.
Height: 0.2 meters with stem up to 1 meter.
Sun: full sun to part shade
Moisture: dry to moderate
Soil: poor rocky soils, sandy soils