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No-mow For turf grasses used to control erosive flow in swales, see Turf

Many of the images on this page have some from contributors at iNaturalist.
Search their database for beautiful images; always check the individual CC copyright terms.

Sortable table, click on header you wish to select decorative graminoids by:
Scientific Name Common Name Native Soil Moisture
Partial shade tolerance Drought Tolerance
Salt Tolerance
Pollution tolerance Compaction tolerance STEP star! Illustration
Andropogon gerardii Big Bluestem Y 2 3 2 Y Andropogon gerardii.jpg
Bromus latiglumis Broad-glumed Brome Y 2-3 Y 2 2 Bromus latiglumis.jpg
Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass 1-2 2 2 Y Y Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'.jpg
Calamagrostis canadensis Canada Blue-joint Y 2-3 1-2 2 Canada bluejoint (Calamagrostis canadensis) Sand Lake Wetland Management District 02 (14386718725).jpg
Carex atherodes Awned Sedge Y 3 2 2 Carex atherodes.jpeg
Carex bebbii Bebb’s Sedge Y 2-3 1-2 2 Y Carex bebbii.jpg
Carex brevior Brevior Sedge Y 1-2 2-3 2 Y Carex brevior (7462230936).jpg
Carex crinita Fringed Sedge Y 2-3 Y 1 1 Carex crinita 1 (5097245681).jpg
Carex grayii Asa Gray Sedge Y 2-3 Y 1 2 Carex grayii.jpg
Carex hystericina Porcupine Sedge Y 3 1 2 Carex hystericina NPS-1.jpg
Carex intumescens Bladder Sedge Y 3 Y 1 1 Carex intumescens.jpg
Carex lacustris Lake-bank Sedge Y 2-3 Y 1 2 Carex lacustris.jpeg
Carex lupulina Hop Sedge Y 2 Y 1 1 Carex lupulina.jpeg
Carex pensylvanica Pennsylvania Sedge Y 1 Y 2-3 2 Carex pensylvanica kz1.jpg
Carex stipata Stalk-grain Sedge Y 2-3 1 2 Y Carex stipata (4155810972).jpg
Carex vulpinoidea Fox Sedge Y 2-3 1-2 2 Y Y Brown Fox Sedge (Carex vulpinoidea) in wet meadow at the Morton Arboretum - Flickr - Jay Sturner (2).jpg
Chasmanthium latifolium Upland Sea Oats 2 Y 2 3 Chasmanthium latifolium 5zz.jpg
Danthonia spicata Poverty Oatgrass Y 1-2 2-3 3 Y Danthonia spicata.jpeg
Deschampsia cespitosa Tufted Hairgrass Y 1 Y 2 2-3 Deschampsia cespitosa dgreenberger.jpeg
Elymus canadensis Canada Wild-rye Y 1-2 2-3 3 Y Elymus canadensis.jpg
Elymus riparius River Wild-rye Y 2 Y 2 2 Y Elymus riparius.jpg
Elymus virginicus var. virginicus Virginia Wild-rye Y 2-3 Y 2 2 Y Elymus virginicus.jpeg
Festuca spp. (see: other information) Fescue species. Y 1-2 Y 3 2-3 Y Y Festuca amethystina.jpg
Helictotrichon sempervirens Blue Oat Grass 1-2 2 2 Helictotrichon sempervirens 1.jpg
Juncus effusus ssp. solutus Lamp Rush Y 2-3 1 3 Y Y Juncus effusus stmacrinacoop.jpeg
Juncus tenuis Path Rush Y 2 Y 2 3 Y Juncus tenuis Cahen.jpeg
Muhlenbergia mexicana var. mexicana Mexican Muhly Y 2 Y 2 2 Muhlenbergia mexicana.jpg
Panicum virgatum Shenandoah Switchgrass Y 1-3 Y 3 3 Y Y Panicum virgatum1.jpg
Pennisetum alopecuroides 'hameln' Fountain Grass 1-2 3 3 HamelnDwarfFountainGrass-PennisetumAlopecuroidesHameln.jpg
Schizachyrium scoparium (Andropogon scoparius) Little Bluestem Y 1 3 2-3 Y Y Andropogon scoparius.jpg
Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (Scirpus validus) Soft-stem Bulrush Y 3 1 2-3 Y Kare kaisel.JPG
Scirpus atrovirens Dark-green Bulrush Y 3 1 2 Y Scirpus atrovirens.jpeg
Scirpus cyperinus Cottongrass Bulrush Y 3 2 2 Scirpus cyperinus jheiser.jpg
Sorghastrum nutans Yellow Indian-grass Y 1-2 Y 3 2-3 Y SorghastrumNutans.jpg
Sparganium eurycarpum Large Bur-reed Y 3 Y 1 2 Bur-reed (Sparganium eurycarpum) Sand Lake Wetland Management District 01 (14385334072).jpg
Spartina pectinata Prairie Cordgrass Y 2-3 Y 2 2 Y Sporobolus michauxianus.jpeg
Sporobolus neglectus Small Dropseed Y 1-2 3 3 Y Please submit a photo
Typha latifolia Broad-leaf Cattail Y 3 1 2-3 Y Typha latifolia 02 bgiu.jpg


Resilient turf grasses are particularly useful in the design of vegetated filter strips, dry ponds and enhanced grass swales. The Ministry of Transportation have standardized a number of grass mixes[1]. The 'Salt Tolerant Mix' is of particular value for low impact development applications alongside asphalt roadways and paved walkways.

Canada #1 Ground Cover (salt tolerant mix)
Common name Scientific name Proportion
Tall Fescue Festuca arundinacea 25 %
Fults Alkali Grass Puccinellia distans 20 %
Creeping Red Fescue Festuca rubra 25 %
Perennial ryegrass Lolium perrenne 20 %
Hard Fescue Festuca trachyphylla 10 %
  1. Ontario Provincial Standard Specification. (2014). Construction Specification and for Seed and Cover OPSS.PROV 804. Retrieved from$FILE/OPSS.PROV 804 Nov2014.pdf