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Harestail Grass

Lagurus ovatus

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Poaceae (Grass)
Also in this family:
Alpine Catstail, Alpine Foxtail, Alpine Meadow-grass, Annual Beard-grass, Annual Meadow-grass, Arrow Bamboo, Barren Brome Grass, Bearded Couch Grass, Bearded Fescue, Bermuda Grass, Black Bent, Black Grass, Blue Fescue, Blue Moor-grass, Bog Hair-grass, Borrer's Saltmarsh Grass, Bread Wheat, Bristle Bent, Brown Bent, Brown Sedge, Bulbous Foxtail, Bulbous Meadow-grass, California Brome Grass, Canary Grass, Carnation Sedge, Cocksfoot, Cockspur, Common Bent, Common Cord-grass, Common Millet, Common Reed, Common Saltmarsh Grass, Compact Brome Grass, Corn, Couch Grass, Creeping Bent, Creeping Soft-grass, Crested Dog's-tail, Crested Hair-grass, Cultivated Oat, Curved Hard Grass, Cut Grass, Dense Silky Bent, Downy Oat-grass, Drooping Brome Grass, Drooping Tor Grass, Dune Fescue, Early Hair-grass, Early Meadow-grass, Early Sand-grass, False Brome Grass, False Oat-grass, Fern Grass, Fine-leaved Sheep's Fescue, Flattened Meadow-grass, Floating Sweet-grass, Foxtail Barley, French Oat, Giant Fescue, Glaucous Meadow-grass, Great Brome Grass, Greater Quaking Grass, Grey Hair-grass, Hairy Brome Grass, Hairy Finger-grass, Hard Fescue, Hard Grass, Heath Grass, Holy Grass, Hybrid Marram Grass, Italian Rye Grass, Knotroot Bristlegrass, Lesser Hairy Brome Grass, Lesser Quaking Grass, Loose Silky Bent, Lyme Grass, Marram Grass, Marsh Foxtail, Mat Grass, Mat-grass Fescue, Meadow Barley, Meadow Fescue, Meadow Foxtail, Meadow Oat-grass, Mountain Melick, Narrow-leaved Meadow-grass, Narrow-leaved Small-reed, Neglected Couch Grass, Nit Grass, Orange Foxtail, Pampas Grass, Perennial Rye Grass, Plicate Sweet-grass, Purple Moor-grass, Purple Small-reed, Purple-stem Catstail, Quaking Grass, Ratstail Fescue, Red Fescue, Reed Canary Grass, Reed Sweet-grass, Reflexed Saltmarsh Grass, Rescue Grass, Rough Meadow-grass, Rush-leaved Fescue, Sand Catstail, Sand Couch Grass, Scandinavian Small-reed, Scottish Small-reed, Sea Barley, Sea Couch Grass, Sea Fern Grass, Sheep's Fescue, Silver Hair-grass, Six-rowed Barley, Slender Brome Grass, Small Cord-grass, Small Sweet-grass, Smaller Catstail, Smooth Brome Grass, Smooth Cord-grass, Smooth Finger-grass, Smooth Meadow-grass, Soft Brome Grass, Somerset Hair-grass, Sorghum, Spreading Meadow-grass, Squirreltail Fescue, Stiff Brome Grass, Stiff Saltmarsh Grass, Sweet Vernal Grass, Tall Fescue, Timothy Grass, Tor Grass, Tufted Hair-grass, Two-rowed Barley, Upright Brome Grass, Velvet Bent, Viviparous Fescue, Wall Barley, Wavy Hair-grass, Wavy Meadow-grass, Whorl Grass, Wild Oat, Wood Barley, Wood Fescue, Wood Meadow-grass, Wood Melick, Wood Millet, Yellow Oat-grass, Yorkshire Fog
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, parks, roadsides, rocky places, sand dunes, seaside, walls, wasteland.

White, no petals
Short, oval, soft, distinctive, fluffy white flowerheads. Spikelets are up to 1cm long. Long white bent awns, up to 2cm long.
The fruit is a caryopsis which is a type of dry, one-seeded fruit typical of grasses.
An annual grass with linear, arching, softly pubescent leaves. Pale green at the start of the season, later turning brown. Inflated sheaths. Garden escape species (ornamental).
Other Names:
Bunnies' Tails, Bunny Tail, Bunny's Tail Grass, Harestail, Hare's-tail Grass, Rabbit's-tail Grass, Turk's Head Grass.
Frequency (UK):

Other Information


Lagurus ovatus, commonly known as bunny tail grass or hare's tail grass, is a species of annual grass that belongs to the Poaceae family. It is native to Mediterranean region and parts of Asia, and is commonly found in coastal dunes, grasslands, and other sandy habitats. The plant forms clumps of narrow, green leaves and produces unique, fluffy, cylindrical spikes that resemble bunny tails or hare's tails, which can range in color from white to pink to purple, depending on the variety. These spikes appear on the end of the stem in summer and fall.

Lagurus ovatus is a popular ornamental grass that is grown for its decorative fluffy spikes which are used in dried flower arrangements, wreath making, and other craft projects. It is also commonly used in landscaping and garden design, it can thrive in poor soil, and it is drought-tolerant. The plant is considered a hardy, easy-to-grow annual and suitable for both borders and rock gardens.


Harestail Grass, also known as Bunny Tails or Rabbit Tails, is a delightful ornamental grass that is native to the Mediterranean region. With its fluffy, plume-like seed heads, it is a popular choice for adding texture and interest to garden beds, borders, and containers.


Lagurus ovatus, commonly known as Harestail Grass, is a compact, clump-forming grass that typically grows up to 12 inches in height and width. It produces narrow, blue-green leaves that grow up to 10 inches long and 1/4 inch wide. In late summer, the plant sends up slender, wiry stems that can reach up to 24 inches tall, topped with creamy-white or beige-colored flower spikes that resemble fluffy rabbit tails. The seed heads persist into the fall and can be dried for use in floral arrangements.

Growing Conditions

Harestail Grass is an easy-to-grow plant that thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. It is drought-tolerant and prefers moderate watering. It is hardy in USDA Zones 8-11, but can also be grown as an annual in cooler regions.


Harestail Grass is usually propagated by seed. Sow the seeds in early spring or fall, in a well-draining soil mix. Keep the soil moist but not soggy until the seeds germinate, which usually takes 10-14 days. Once the seedlings have developed their second set of leaves, they can be transplanted into individual pots or directly into the garden.


Harestail Grass is a low-maintenance plant that requires little care. In the fall, the plant can be cut back to the ground or left to provide winter interest. It can be divided every few years to maintain its shape and vigor.


Harestail Grass is an excellent choice for adding texture and interest to garden beds, borders, and containers. Its fluffy seed heads make it a popular choice for use in dried floral arrangements, wreaths, and other crafts.

In conclusion, Harestail Grass is a versatile and attractive ornamental grass that is easy to grow and care for. Its fluffy seed heads add a unique and whimsical touch to any garden or floral arrangement. Whether grown as an annual or perennial, it is sure to delight gardeners and admirers alike with its charm and beauty.

Facts about Harestail Grass

Here are some additional facts and tips about Harestail Grass:

  • Harestail Grass is often used as a filler plant in mixed borders or as a companion to flowering perennials such as Salvia, Rudbeckia, and Echinacea.

  • The fluffy seed heads of Harestail Grass are produced abundantly and can be harvested in late summer and early fall. Cut the stems just before the seed heads start to shed their seeds, and hang them upside down in a dry, well-ventilated area to dry. Once the seed heads are completely dry, gently shake them to release any loose seeds.

  • Harestail Grass is not only attractive to gardeners but also to pollinators such as bees and butterflies. The plant produces a small amount of nectar that is especially popular with honeybees.

  • While Harestail Grass is generally resistant to pests and diseases, it may be prone to rust in humid conditions. To prevent rust, avoid watering the plant from above and ensure good air circulation around the plant.

  • Harestail Grass can be grown in pots and containers, provided they have adequate drainage. Use a well-draining potting mix and water the plant regularly to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.

  • Harestail Grass can also be used as a groundcover in areas with low foot traffic. Plant it in drifts or clusters for a naturalistic effect.

In summary, Harestail Grass is an attractive and easy-to-grow ornamental grass that adds a unique and whimsical touch to gardens, borders, and containers. Its fluffy seed heads are popular in floral arrangements and crafts, and the plant itself is a favorite of pollinators. With a little care and attention, Harestail Grass can bring beauty and interest to any landscape.

More Ideas for Growing Harestail Grass in your Garden

Here are some additional tips and ideas for using Harestail Grass in your garden:

  • Harestail Grass can be used to create a naturalistic or meadow-style planting. Plant it in drifts or clumps among other grasses and wildflowers for a naturalistic effect.

  • Harestail Grass looks great when planted en masse, especially in a border or along a path. Its soft, fluffy seed heads create a billowy effect that adds movement and texture to the garden.

  • Harestail Grass can be combined with other ornamental grasses to create a varied and interesting planting. Try pairing it with fountain grass (Pennisetum), blue oat grass (Helictotrichon), or switchgrass (Panicum) for a dynamic effect.

  • Harestail Grass can be grown as an indoor plant. Plant it in a well-draining potting mix and place it in a bright, sunny window. Water the plant regularly, but avoid overwatering.

  • Harestail Grass can be used in floral arrangements as a filler or accent. Its fluffy seed heads are perfect for adding texture and interest to bouquets and centerpieces.

  • Harestail Grass can be dried and used in wreaths, garlands, and other crafts. Use floral wire to attach the seed heads to a wreath form or other base, and decorate with other natural materials such as dried flowers and leaves.

Overall, Harestail Grass is a versatile and charming plant that can be used in a variety of ways in the garden and in floral arrangements. Whether grown as a specimen plant or as part of a larger planting scheme, it is sure to delight with its soft, fluffy seed heads and easy care requirements.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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