Deergrass is one of the most beautiful and probably the easiest to grow of all the native California bunchgrasses, typically reaching mature size in one or two years. It prefers sandy or gravelly soils, but will tolerate almost any soil as long as it's well drained. It prefers full sun or part shade, but handles full shade reasonably well - it just grows more slowly. A robust, perennial bunchgrass, grows 3-5 ft. high, with narrow, 2 ft. plumes rising above light-green blades. The plant resembles a small pampas grass. Use it in dry stream beds, along driveways or along the street edge to slow the runoff. It is a great grass used in mass for height in a natural meadow or as a specimen used sparingly with native shrubs and is great natural habitat for attracting birds and butterflies into the garden. Deergrass is a substitute for the invasive Fountain Grass, Pennisetum setaceum. The common name Deergrass is not because the plant is a preferred browse plant but because deer like to lay on the mounds. The long plumes were used by many Native American tribes for basketry and the seeds ground food.
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