ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Bunny Tails Ornamental Grass

Updated on May 5, 2013
The Dirt Farmer profile image

Jill likes cooking, writing, painting, & stewardship, and studies gardening through MD Master Gardener & Master Naturalist programs.

"Grass is the hair of the earth." --late German horticulturalist Karl Foerster

Pretty Little Cottontails

Soft and fluffy, bunny tails ornamental grass is a fun plant both children and adults will love.
Soft and fluffy, bunny tails ornamental grass is a fun plant both children and adults will love.

Bunny tails (Lagurus ovatus) is an ornamental grass that’s fun and easy to cultivate. Sometimes called hare’s tail grass, bunny tails grows in compact mounds about a foot wide, which makes it an excellent border plant.

Try planting bunny tails along a walkway. Its fluffy white cottontails, which first appear in early summer, will tickle your legs as you pass. At 1 to 2 feet high, bunny tails is just tall enough to tickle a toddler’s nose, too.

Bunny tail blooms look like the real thing thanks to their soft, downy appearance and life-like size. (Blooms are 2 to 2 ½ inches wide!)

In autumn, the fluffy white tails turn light brown. Harvest them for dry arrangements. The seed heads, which are compact and dense, last for months. Or, leave the heads intact to add interest to your winter garden.

You can also grow bunny tails in pots, either alone or as an accent (thriller) plant.

Grass Bunny Tails Seeds
Grass Bunny Tails Seeds
Unless you live in a mild climate, treat bunny tails as an annual, seeding it every year.

How to Sow Bunny Tails Ornamental Grass

Growing Directions

Directly sow bunny tails outdoors in full sun 3 weeks before the last frost in sandy or well-drained soil. (It doesn’t do well in soggy soil.)

Because the seeds are small, plant them shallowly, scratching them into the soil about 1/4-inch deep. Keep them well watered. Thin seedlings to 12 inches apart.

Like most ornamental grasses, once Lagurus ovatus is established, it’s drought-tolerant.

You can also start bunny tails indoors from seed 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost in your area. Keep the potting medium warm and moist. Seeds will germinate in 15 to 21 days.

In mild climates, zones 7-10, bunny tails can be cultivated as a perennial. In zones 3-6, treat it as an annual.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Although it shares the common name "bunny tails" with Lagurus ovatus, Pennisetum messiacum's blooms look more like foxtails.
Although it shares the common name "bunny tails" with Lagurus ovatus, Pennisetum messiacum's blooms look more like foxtails.
Although it shares the common name "bunny tails" with Lagurus ovatus, Pennisetum messiacum's blooms look more like foxtails. | Source

Red Bunny Tails Fountain Grass

Although Pennisetum messiacum (red bunny tails fountain grass) shares the name “bunny tails” with Lagurus ovatus, its blooms resemble a rabbit’s foot or fox's tail more than a bunny's tail. In fact, its blooms are of a type commonly referred to as foxtails.

Like bunny tails, Pennisetum messiacumprefers full sun. However, it does well in part shade, too, and it's drought tolerant. In zones 7-10, it grows as a perennial. In any zone where temperatures drop below zero, it's an annual.

Beautiful as a specimen plant, excellent in a large pot, Pennisetum messiacum can grow up to 3 feet tall. Its gorgeous burgundy foxtails eventually fade to white.

Designing with Grasses
Designing with Grasses
A practical guide to using grasses in the home landscape, Designing with Grasses shows gardeners how to create a grassland in their yard, prevent erosion, establish green roofs, and choose the right plant for the right spot.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Jill Spencer


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      5 years ago from United States

      It's cute in person, too, bluebird. Thanks for stopping by.

    • bluebird profile image


      5 years ago

      Plants can be beautiful, but don't recall so much any cute plants! Thanks for sharing, I wouldn't mind growing this myself, it has such a cute name.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      7 years ago from United States

      Hi moonlake. Yep, bunny tail grass likes it warm, zones 7 and up. Below that, it's an annual, but a really fun annual! Thanks for leaving a comment.--Jill

    • moonlake profile image


      7 years ago from America

      I love grass but I have never heard of bunny tails. They would be only annuals here I'm sure. Enjoyed your hub and voted up.

    • thoughtfulgirl2 profile image

      Claudia Smaletz 

      7 years ago from East Coast

      Ah, you have made me enchanted with the Bunny tail Grass. I love ornamental grasses and enjoyed your article. The first photo of the Bunny tail grass was quite beautiful. I loved your quote at the beginning of the article and I love latin, so I really am glad you included the latin names for these beautiful and practical workhorses of the garden.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      9 years ago from United States

      Thanks, Eiddwen. I appreciate the comment. Thanks for reading!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      9 years ago from Wales

      A great hub about something I knew little about,and thankfully we are never too old to learn.

      I now look forward to reading more of your work.

      Take care


    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      9 years ago from United States

      Thanks for stopping by, RTalloni!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Oh how adorable! My grandchildren would love this grass. Thanks!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      9 years ago from United States

      According to this site, your last frost date was from mid to late April, depending upon where you live in Iowa, so ... if that's accurate, you could sow them now. You shouldn't have any difficulty getting them to start. They're easy to grow and really cute.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I have never heard of bunny tails. Thanks for the info! I live in Iowa, is this a good time of the year to plant seeds?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)