Briza: Pearl grass
Height 45cm (18in)
Planting distance 15-23cm (6-9in)
Flowers late spring to mid summer
Ordinary well-drained garden
Hardy annual grass
Pearl grass (Briza maxima), with its silvery-green spikelets dancing and rustling on slender 45cm (18in) high stems, is deservedly the most popular ornamental grass. The spikelets appear from late spring to mid summer, forming upright tufts with their bright green, narrow, pointed leaves.
Grow pearl grass in large drifts in borders with flowering plants. When the flower heads are well formed, the stems can be cut and dried for indoor flower arrangements.
Sow the seeds thinly in their flowering position in early autumn or in early to. Any well-drained soil is suitable and the site should be sunny. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, thin to 15-23cm (6-9in) apart.
Cut the flower stems for drying in sunny weather, when the spikelets are fully developed but before they set seeds. Hang up to dry in a cool place.
Pests and diseases