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With the arrival of fall, annuals begin to fade but ornamental grasses just get better.
Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ flowers have matured to tawny sweeps that catch the autumn breezes (zone 4). The dark stiff awns of Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Moudry’ (zone 6) will last into winter. The steely blue of Pannicum virigatum ‘Heavy Metal’ (zone 5) brightens to a cool frosted look, and Carex holds onto its earthy fall colours. Carex dipsacea (zone 7, pictured right) is a perfect backdrop to changing fall hues with its deep, shiny olive tones. C. testacea (zone 7) will add a touch of bright orange.
By intermingling these grasses and grass-like plants with other perennials like Echinacea ‘Art’s Pride’ (zone 4) or Sedum telephium ‘Matrona’ (zone 4), you can enjoy a long season of fall colour.