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Koeleria macrantha

Prairie junegrass

Native to North America


FIRST IMPRESSIONS:   Koeleria macrantha  is a clump forming tufted perennial bunch grass.  Leaves are medium green and erect.  Foliage is medium green, and flowers a light green, which fade to a wheat color.  This grass prospers in sunny sites with disturbed or poor infertile soils.

HABITAT & HARDINESS:  This pioneer species is common throughout much of the United States, Europe and Asia. It grows best in cool summer areas or it will go summer dormant.  Areas with high summer temps and humidity should be avoided.  

Excellent for restoration projects as it will self-seed readily.  For the same reason, not recommended for the formal landscape or clay or wet soil.  

Koeleria macrantha is indigenous to abandoned fields, early and mid-successional prairies, disturbed roadsides, railroad rights-of-ways, pastures, exhausted mined land, and barren waste areas.  

Hardy from USDA Zones 3 to 9.

Juglone tolerant, dry rocky soil tolerant and air pollution tolerant.  


1-2 ft


1-2 ft


2-3 ft

USDA Hardiness Zone:


Bloom Color:

Green, Tan

Koeleria macrantha Characteristics

Attracts Wildlife

  • Songbirds


  • Naturalizing
  • East-Coast Native
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Dried Flower


  • Full Sun

Flowering Months

  • June
  • May

Foliage Color

  • Green

Grass Season

  • Cool Season Grass

Growth Rate

  • Fast

Juglans nigra Tolerance (Black Walnut)

  • Yes

Salt Tolerance

  • Medium

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Fall
  • Summer

Soil Moisture Preference

  • Dry

Plants that work well with Koeleria macrantha ''

selfheal selfheal (Prunella vulgaris 'Magdalena')
Butterfly weed Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Tennessee coneflower Tennessee coneflower (Echinacea tennesseensis 'Rocky Top')
Hyssop leaved boneset Hyssop leaved boneset (Eupatorium hyssopifolium)
Black-eyed Susan Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida v. fulgida)
Upland ironweed Upland ironweed (Vernonia glauca)
New York ironweed New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis)
Appalachian Mountain Mint Appalachian Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum flexuosum)
small woodland sunflower small woodland sunflower (Helianthus microcephalus)
Blue cap sea holly Blue cap sea holly (Eryngium planum 'Blaukappe')

Substitutions for Koeleria macrantha

Broom sedge Broom sedge (Andropogon virginicus)