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Poverty Oat Grass - Danthonia spicata

Poverty Oat Grass - Danthonia spicata

Danthonia spicata, or Poverty Oat Grass, is a perennial plant native to Michigan and the UP. This grass naturally stays 4 to 6” in height and likes full sun or light shade and poor medium to dry soil. It prefers difficult areas without much competition and thrives in rocky or sandy sites. My favorite thing about this plant is that in dry conditions it has curly leaves which turn silver and orange in the fall! The curled foliage looks lovely with a tinge of frost.


This plant is frequently found growing in nooks and crannies on top of the U.P.s many rock outcroppings. It is also a colonizing species of disturbed areas, tolerates mowing, and is traffic-resistant. Two of the photos above show that it thrives on the mowed "camp road" through our field. It is walked on many times a day, mowed once or twice per season, and driven on weekly with no ill effect.


Pairs well with Black-eyed Susans, Prairie Smoke, Pussytoes, Blue-eyed Grass, Northern Heartleaf Aster, Rock Harlequin, and Yarrow. This cool-season, clumping, slow-spreading grass makes a great matrix plant to fill in around widely spaced feature plants, though it may eventually be shaded-out. It is a good candidate for rock gardens, native plant lawns, roof plantings, under jack pine, and in difficult areas. Poverty Oat Grass is the host plant for several species of Skipper butterfly and is deer resistant.

    PriceFrom $6.00
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