Plugs Seeded From Native New England Collections
• LITTLE BLUESTEM (Schizachyrium scoparium) – “Barnstable”
A composite from NRCS* collections from sites in Barnstable, Plymouth, and Dukes County in Massachusetts and from Providence County, Rhode Island. Little Bluestem is our most versatile an attractive warm season native grass.
• INDIAN GRASS (Sorghastrum nutans) – “Narragansett”
An NRCS* collection from the same sites as Little Bluestem with an additional site in Madison,Connecticut (New Haven County). Indian Grass is a tall (4-6 ft) drought tolerant warm season grass that can also be found in areas of fertility, making this grass a foot soldier in the battle against invasive species.
• BIG BLUESTEM (Andropogon gerardii) – “Mystic”
An NRCS* collection from the sites for Indian Grass with an additional site in Southbury,Connecticut (New Haven County). Big Bluestem is a tall vigorous warm season native grass frequently found as a companion to stands of Little Bluestem. It is also adapted to fertile sites as well as drought areas.
• COASTAL HAIR GRASS (Deschampsia flexuosa) – Certified “Pilgrim”
A Cape Cod composite from a 26-year collection from Wellfleet, Brewster, and Chatham, Massachusetts, Pilgrim is a certified “Wild-Land” collection. Very short (4-8 inches un-mowed) andslow growing, Pilgrim requires sandy or well-drained gravelly soil of low fertility. It’s shade tolerant and maintains green color throughout the summer.
• BUSHY BEARD GRASS (Andropogon glomeratus) – “Nauset”
A selection from existing cranberry bogs in Harwich, Massachusetts, Beard Grass is ideally suited for typical sand/ peat soils in flat or low locations, too wet for many upland warm-season natives.
“Nauset” is adapted to wet soils, especially the sand/peat soils numerous in cranberry country –limited availability.
• BLUE-EYED GRASS (Sisyrinchium spp.) – “Niantic Blend”
A species mixture of Sisyrinchium antlanticum and angustifoliuum several locations in South Eastern Massachusetts and North Central Connecticut. A member of the iris family, Sisyrinchium will produce small blue flowers from grass like clumps in mid-May. This species mixes with fine fescues in a 2-5/year mowing regime as long as mowing of flower buds and flowers is postponed for a few weeks – limited availability.
• COASTAL GOLDENROD (Solidago sempervirens) – “Monarch”
From an NRCS* collection, sempervirens is a salt/drought-tolerant species used to stabilize back dunes, upland areas that border salt marshes and sandy areas close to the coast. It’s not a “bully” as are many cousin goldenrod species. It grows in native groupings with beach pea, coastal switchgrass, dune bluestem, and bayberry.
*NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) is a unit of the USDA. The PMC (Plant Material Center) in Cape May, New Jersey, works within NRCS and is charged with developing genetic sources of plant material to benefit dune stabilization, coastal estuarine conservation, and upland species for poverty and wetland soils. The Cape May PMC covers the Northeast/Southeast from Maine to North Carolina
Standard Native Plug Selections
These plugs are from collections of broad or unspecified geography, but all species are eco-region specific within our area.
• BLUE/HARD FESCUE (Festuca glauca X Festuca brevipila) - “LITTLE BIGHORN” or “RAZOR”
These are slow/low-growing, blue-toned species adapted to sand or dry conditions. Once established, these varieties fit the Pilgrim low input grass matrix based on less mowing and other maintenance inputs.
• ELIJAH or WHISPER BLUE FESCUE (Festuca glauca):
The standard horticultural variety.
A conservation/low input turf selection from Clearwater Seed in Washington. Horticultural selections like Elijah are reproduced asexually and as such are very true to creating uniformity of appearance, a desirable trait in small, less informal areas near buildings or homes. Turf and conservation varieties such as Whisper are seeded (sexually reproduced) from populations with several clones. Their broader genetic background is better suited for larger areas requiring resilience to stress given the size of the area and the assumptions of zero future maintenance.
• ROEMER’S FESCUE (Festuca roemeri)
A cool season native of the Pacific Northwest, Roemer’s is non-aggressive and very attractive. Roemer’s will complement our standard fine fescues, including a trait no others have: tolerance of wet soil conditions.
• AUTUMN BENT GRASS (Agrostis perennans) - “PLYMOUTH”
A remarkable “true” native cool season grass unlike the European Agrostis species such as red top and creeping bent grass that were planted or escaped from ship ballast. This species was 100% disease free in our research nursery in 2011. Perennans is a true clump grass; deeply rooted with rapid adaption to a wide range of site conditions including dense shade.
• WINTER BENT GRASS (Agrostis hyemalis) - “MOHEGAN”
Agrostis hyemalis is similar to perennans and indications are equal to or better appearance quality. Hyemalis is less winter-hardy; fine for most areas of Southern New England, but not recommended for very cold pockets in the Berkshires or colder eco-regions of Northern New England.
• FOUNTAIN GRASS (Pennisetum alopecuroides) - “HAMELIN”
Non-native ornamental Hamelin offers the best fit with native graminoid species. Its uniform, but less informal habit makes it our first choice of an ornamental grass to be included in this line.
• BLUE FLAX/LEWIS FLAX (Linum perenne/Linum lewisii)
Blue flax is a grass-like perennial with upright growth and small blue flowers. It’s very drought-tolerant and well-suited for mixtures with grasses.
• PINK/WHITE YARROW (Achillea spp.)
Yarrow is common in grass areas and is an easily recognized, resilient, perennial forb. It’s characterized by slender, feathery, upright growth and white pink or yellow flowers. Yarrow melts into grass stands flowering at a low height of a few inches following one or two mowings.
• DEPTFORD PINK (Dianthus armeria) - “ROAD WARRIOR”
This Dianthus is a biennial, pink-flowered species from a Colonial Seed Connecticut collection. Dark, shiny green basal leaves grow flush to the ground withstanding mowing up until flower stems emerge. 6-8 inch stems hold a single tiny pink flower followed by prolific seed pods and effortless self-sowing.
• CATCHFLY (Silene spp.)
This species is a compact, low-growing grass-like perennial. It has 2-3 inch basal leaves and small pink flowers.
Colonial Seed Company
280 Bloomfield Ave Windsor Ct, 06095
(413) 355 - 0200
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