autumn moor grass

Sesleria autumnalis (autumn moor grass) emerges in early summer as a bright chartreuse. In late summer the color of this grass darkens somewhat with the cream-colored blooms emerging a few inches above the approximately foot-high foliage.

This grass takes shade or full-sun, making it a no-brainer for garden design, especially when rhythm is needed in a space that has varying sunny and shady areas. Autumn moor grass is native to Europe and is sterile in our climate making it virtually maintenance free.

As with most grasses, be careful not to overwater this plant. Once established, it thrives on neglect. Do weed out any weedy grasses that may seed into this one, such as turf grass. This grass is lovely alone as a drift or in combination with Ruellia humilis (prairie petunia) or Polemonium repens (creeping Jacob’s ladder). In winter the seedheads stay beautiful and upright.

Botanical Name Sesleria autumnalis
Common Name autumn moor grass
Family Poaceae
USDA Zone 5 to 8
Light Requirement Full Sun to Part Shade
Season(s) of interest Summer, Fall, Winter
Height and Spread
0.75-1ft x 0.5-1ft (22-30cm x 15-30cm)
Flower Color Greenish-Yellow
Attracts Wildlife  
Additional Information Native range: Europe
Location in Lurie Garden
Northwest Light Plate, Southwest Light Plate, Southeast Light Plate, Southeast Dark Plate, East Dark Plate