Credit: Barbra Fairclough

While many ornamental grasses are great for fresh or dried arrangements, Chasmanthium latifolium is among the best

Chasmanthium latifolium (northern sea oats, zone 5)

Its flower clusters dangle like braided charms, supported by stiff, dark-green stems that allow for easy handling. Its angular, bamboo-like leaves dry to tawny shades of bronze or light brown. Cut the flowers when they are still green and not quite mature for a long-lasting arrangement.

Grown in the shade, this versatile grass will darken in colour and the foliage will appear more relaxed; in the sun the green brightens and the flowers stand slightly more erect.