Molinia caerulea 'Variegata' - Variegated Purple Moor Grass

This lovely variegated form of purple moor grass prefers moist, rich, acid soil in light shade to full sun. In dry locations this grass prefers shade. This is a slow-growing plant which forms a beautiful "mop" of foliage in a few years. It requires virtually no care and will happily grow in the same spot for many years.

Molinia caerulea can tolerate some alkalinity, but at the cost of not looking its best.

The flower heads are tall, narrow, bronze to gold and are good for dried arrangements.

Best planted 30 cm (12") apart and are very effective planted in groups of three or more.

Muriel says: I tried to grow this plant in high shade with no direct sun. Barely survived. Moved it to full sun. Not good either. Moved it to full sun to about 2 pm, shade thereafter, and it has thrived. It was amazing to see what had been reduced to a couple of splindly leaves, eventually blossom into a really nice plant.

Description: cool season; clump forming
Foliage is cream-colored with green stripe; blade width is medium; 30-50 cm (12-20") in height
Flowers are purplish; blooms Sept to frost; 50-80 cm (20-32") tall

Coldest zone: 4 (find your zone; further info on plant hardiness)

Ideal conditions: full sun in cool climates; needs ample water and some shade in hot dry locations; likes moist, fertile, acid soil

Partner with: Hostas, Rhododendrons and other acid-lovers

Season of interest: June to winter

Drought tolerance rating: 3 (water to root depth once a week) further info

Recommended spacing between plants: 60-100cm (12-24")

Pronunciation: Molina (moh-LIN-ee-ah) caerulea (ser-OO-lee-ah) variegata (ver-ee-uh-GAH-tah)


More ornamental grasses

Compare Molinia caerulea 'Variegata' to our other grasses in this handy chart.


Molinia caerulea 'Variegata' - Variegated Purple Moor Grass

Molinia caerulea Variegata