The arching stems of this grass are displaying attractive panicles on the Systematic Beds.
A member of the grass family (Poaceae), the genus Stipa contains 300 evergreen, deciduous and occasionally annual species. All occur in open woodland and rocky slopes of temperate and warm-temperate zones around the world. They have pleated, in-rolled, or occasionally flat leaves, and panicles with flat spikelets, and a long feathery or bristly awn. A number are valued for their ornamental value, including this one, Stipa calamagrostis, which grows to 1 m in height. It has feathery panicles which emerge with a purple tint, but which take on golden, buff colourings, and which will persist well into winter.