Highly variegated green and creamy white leaves have a rosy pink blush when emerging in early spring and again as the weather cools. Buff colored flowers. An excellent specimen or groundcover.
Best in evenly moist, slightly acidic soil. Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep extensive root system. In colder zones, apply a thick mulch around the root area to protect in winter. Leave foliage in place until spring, then shear, leaving 1/3 of the plant. Divide if needed in spring or early fall.
This little grass is perfect for diminutive perennials of same stature for a lovely low patchwork of color in beds and borders. Small enough to be a super textural accent in container gardens of mixed foliage and flowers. Naturalistic grasses are perfect for a dry stream bed or in rock gardens poking out between outcroppings. In the modern garden they are excellent for geometric, perfectly spaced grids or in dense lines along pavement edge. Use to create open space in native or habitat gardens needing meadow-like setting that's walkable.
Short stature perennials in scale with this hair grass are Pewter Moon Coral Bells, (Heuchera x 'Pewter Moon'), Alice Haslam Aster, (Aster novi-belgii 'Alice Haslam'), Otto Quast Spanish Lavender, (Lavandula stoechas 'Otto Quast'), Haeumanarc Sage, (Salvia nemorosa 'Haeumanarc') and Creme Brulee Tickseed, (Coreopsis 'Creme Brulee'). Also quite striking with Fox Red Curly Sedge, (Carex buchananii) and Marleen Coralberry, (Symphoricarpos x doorenbosii 'Ariso')
Northern Lights was discovered in a seed flat by Harlan Hamernick's Bluebird Nursery of Clarkson Nebraska. It was named by Steve Schmidt of Oregon. It is derived from a grass species of wide distribution in temperate zones of Europe, Asia and North America. With such a vast range there is considerable variation within the species to produce such a short variety. It prefers moist habitat such as bogs, fens and wet meadows.
This plant is also know as tussock grass. It was an old Medieval practice to uproot a couple of these grasses known as "tussocks" to bring into cold English churches to provide soft kneelers and insulate the knees from the frozen stone floors.