Looking for suggestions for Cool Climate Ornamental Grass – Zone 6b – 3 foot high
Location is sunny, Soil is sandy loam in a large raised bed. It is to used as visual screen for summer through winter
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Little bluestem stays around 3 feet and has bluish leaves that turn rusty mahogany in the fall. There are many forms of maiden grass, though they may be taller than you want. Plumes of feather reed grass reach 4 to 5 feet tall.
Here's some articles that should help:
There are several possible native grasses that fit your needs. Prairie dropseed only reaches 2 ft but has a nice mounded form. Indiangrass, junegrass and switch grass grow closer to 4 feet (including "flower" spike or inflorescence). To limit height, shear them back when 12 inches tall. River oats grows to 3 feet and has attractive, nodding seed heads. Finally, little blue stem is a 3 foot tall, clumping grass with a bluish hue. All of these remain attractive in the winter unless heavy snow causes them to fall over. You may see birds eating the seeds as well.
You have several options. Prairie dropseed is a low, mounded grass close to 70cm tall and wide. Little Bluestem is 3 ft high. Junegrass, indiangrass and switch grass grow upright to 4-5 feet. They can be sheared back when 18 inches tall to reduce overall height. Side oats grama is about 60cm and has a gently nodding nature. Finally, river oats is another 3 ft grass and has decorative seed clusters. It may take several years in the garden to reach mature size if started from seed.