Tall Moor Grass Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
purple moor-grass
purple moor-grass
purple moor-grass
purple moor-grass
purple moor-grass
purple moor-grass
purple moor-grass
purple moor-grass
purple moor-grass
purple moor-grass
purple moor-grass


Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea, commonly known as the tall moor grass, is a perennial plant mainly identified by its linear, narrow leaves, which exhibit a deep green hue. The leaves typically grow in a tufted clump and have a slightly arching form, adding to the soft texture of the grass. During the growing season, the foliage may change colors, providing visual interest and variety in the landscape. The plant is well-known for its delicate and feathery flower spikes, which emerge above the leaves and can vary in color from purple to golden brown, depending on the season and the maturity of the plant. These flower spikes create an airy, light effect and persist through the winter, offering an attractive display even during the colder months. The overall symmetry of the plant is gracefully upright, with the flower stalks and foliage combining to form an elegant and slender silhouette. The appearance of the tall moor grass contributes to its popularity in landscaping, as it provides both texture and movement. Its foliage and flowering spikes sway gracefully in the wind, so to fully appreciate the plant's beauty, it is best placed where these natural movements can be easily observed. Despite its delicate looks, the plant is quite resilient and can add structure and interest to many garden designs.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Tall Moor Grass, Purple Moor Grass, Tall Purple Molinia

    • Common names

      Molinia arundinacea, Aira arundinacea, Aira caerulea var. arundinacea, Arundinaria coerulea, Molinia caerulea var. arundinacea, Molinia serotina, Molinia walteri.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Purple moor-grass is not known to be toxic to humans. There is no significant evidence indicating that ingestion of any part of this plant leads to poisoning or harmful symptoms in people. Therefore, the consumption of purple moor-grass is not generally associated with adverse health effects.

    • To pets

      Purple moor-grass is not known to be toxic to pets. Similar to its effects on humans, ingestion of this plant does not typically result in poisoning or cause notable symptoms of toxicity in animals such as dogs, cats, or other domesticated pets. Consequently, accidental consumption of purple moor-grass by pets is not expected to have serious consequences.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      4 feet (1.2 meters)

    • Spread

      2 feet (0.6 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Landscape Aesthetics: Tall Moor Grass offers visual interest with its slender, upright stems and feathery flower spikes, enhancing garden design.
    • Habitat Support: It provides shelter and nesting material for birds and other wildlife.
    • Soil Stabilization: The roots help bind the soil, preventing erosion in landscapes.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, Tall Moor Grass is tolerant of dry conditions, reducing the need for irrigation.
    • Low Maintenance: It requires minimal care once mature, making it an easy choice for gardeners.
    • Seasonal Interest: Displays seasonal changes with striking fall colors and winter presence.
    • Companion Planting: Works well in mixed grass plantings and borders, offering textural contrast.
    • Biodiversity Enhancement: Adds to the variety of plant species in an ecosystem, supporting overall ecosystem health.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Molinia caerulea, commonly known as purple moor-grass, can be used as a source of biomass for energy production due to its high yield in poor soil conditions.
    • The dense tussocks of purple moor-grass can provide shelter and nesting opportunities for ground-nesting birds and insects.
    • Fibers from purple moor-grass can be utilized in the production of paper or cardboard as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional wood pulps.
    • When dried, the grass can be used in craft-making for creating decorative items like wreaths or in floral arrangements for texture and contrast.
    • The plant can play a role in phytoremediation, helping to restore degraded lands or wetlands by stabilizing soil and reducing erosion.
    • Purple moor-grass can be included in rain garden designs to absorb excess water runoff and reduce the impact of heavy rains on urban drainage systems.
    • It is used for thatching roofs in traditional building techniques, providing insulation and a unique aesthetic.
    • The plant's ability to thrive in acidic soils makes it useful for revegetating areas affected by acid rain or mining activities.
    • As a natural dye, the flowering parts of purple moor-grass can be used to create a variety of earth-toned hues for textiles.
    • The tall and slender form of purple moor-grass, along with its feathery inflorescences, provides movement and sound in landscape designs, creating dynamic outdoor spaces.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Tall Moor Grass is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant Tall Moor Grass is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Flexibility: Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea, commonly known as Tall Moor Grass, typically bends easily without breaking, symbolizing adaptability and resilience in various conditions, much like the human ability to withstand life's challenges.
    • Change: Tall Moor Grass's changing foliage color throughout seasons from green to golden to brown reflects the cycle of life and nature, symbolizing transformation and the inevitability of change in life.
    • Modesty: As a grass that blends into the natural landscape rather than standing out prominently, it symbolizes modesty and the idea of being content without the need for constant attention or recognition.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Late summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    For the tall moor grass, which is the common name for Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea, maintaining consistent soil moisture is key. It should be watered thoroughly once a week, ensuring that water penetrates several inches into the soil. During hot or dry periods, increase the frequency to twice a week, providing at least two gallons per watering session to support its growth. In cooler or rainy weather, you can reduce the amount to one gallon per week, monitoring the soil to ensure it doesn't become waterlogged. Always adjust for rainfall and check the soil moisture level before watering to prevent over-watering.

  • sunLight

    Tall moor grass thrives in full sun to partial shade. The ideal location would provide at least four to six hours of direct sunlight per day. It can tolerate some shade, but too much will reduce the density of its foliage. Placing it in an area with morning sunlight and some afternoon shade can help protect it from the intense summer heat.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Tall moor grass prefers temperate climates, being hardy in a range of temperatures. It can survive winters where temperatures drop to around -20 degrees Fahrenheit; however, the ideal growing temperature for active growth is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This grass can sustain summer temperatures up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit but ensure that it has adequate moisture during these hot spells.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning tall moor grass is essential for maintaining its attractive form and encouraging healthy growth. Cut back the foliage to about four inches in late winter before new growth starts. This annual pruning allows for a fresh start each spring and ensures that the grass does not become too dense. Avoid pruning in fall, as the dried foliage provides winter interest and protection for the plant.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    For Purple Moor Grass, a well-draining, moisture-retentive soil mix with a combination of loam, peat, and sand is ideal. Ensure a soil pH of around 5.5 to 6.5 for optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Purple Moor Grass is a perennial and does not require frequent repotting. It should be divided and repotted every 3 to 4 years to maintain vigor.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Purple Moor Grass thrives in average outdoor humidity levels; it does not have specific high humidity requirements and can tolerate a range of conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright light, cool temps, and moist soil for indoor growth.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun to light shade with moist soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea, commonly known as Tall moor-grass, begins its lifecycle as a dormant seed which germinates early in spring under suitable moisture and temperature conditions. The seedling then establishes a root system and grows into a small tuft of basal leaves. As warmer temperatures prevail, it enters a vegetative growth phase, developing a larger clump with numerous narrow leaves. During the summer, Tall moor-grass transitions to its reproductive stage, shooting up vertical flower stems that form airy panicles, which are wind-pollinated, leading to seed production. After setting seed in late summer or early autumn, the plant’s above-ground parts begin to die back as it enters dormancy for the winter, with energy reserves stored in its root system. The cycle starts anew in spring, with new growth emerging from the perennial rootstock.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late summer

    • The most popular method of propagation for Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea, commonly known as the tall moor grass, is through division. The ideal time to propagate this grass is in the spring as the new growth is starting to show. To divide the plant, carefully dig up an established clump and use a sharp spade or knife to split it into smaller sections, ensuring that each has a portion of the root system. These sections can then be immediately replanted in the garden, spaced approximately 18 to 24 inches (roughly 45 to 60 centimeters) apart to allow for growth and airflow. Water the new divisions thoroughly after planting to help establish the root system. This method of propagation is effective because it helps to rejuvenate older plants while also creating new ones.