There is no arguing that Nassella tenuissima, otherwise known as Mexican Feather Grass, is a very pretty grass. It was recently featured in Sunset Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. Unfortunately, they were featured in a positive light and have sparked a lot of conversation among my fellow designers and horticulturists.
The problem is that this Nassella is very invasive and will soon follow the path of the Pampas Grass that is overtaking our protected areas. I have been following the progress of one particular planting in the neighborhood where I regularly walk.
Here are some pictures that show how the grass seeds itself, runs up the street …
…and plants itself literally feet away from the border of protected parkland under the auspices of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Ok, maybe it has taken a few years to make its way up the street. But it has surely done so. How much longer do we have to wait before this plant starts taking over all of the protected park land?
There are so many grasses on the market. So many wonderful alternatives to this Nassella. There are even native California Nassellas. I would urge anyone considering this plant, whether you be designer or homeowner, to please consider the consequences…and then consider using instead any of the many alternatives.