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Diarrhena americana

American beakgrain add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: Ground Covers, Grasses, Ornamental Grasses

Light Requirements: part-shade, shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: dry, moist

Soil Description: acid, rich, loam

Height: 2'-3'

Bloom Time: June, July

Bloom Color: green

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 5, 6

Additional Tags: attracts birds, clumping, colonizing, fall interest, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, rare, shade garden plant, stream margin plant, woodland plant

Diarrhena americana (American beakgrain)
  • Diarrhena americana (American beakgrain)
  • Diarrhena americana (American beakgrain)
  • Diarrhena americana (American beakgrain)

Pricing & Availability


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Diarrhena americana

Also known as:

American beakgrain


American beakgrass


beak grass


twin oats

Scientific Synonyms:

Diarina festucoides, Korycarpus arundinaceus


Diarrhena americana is an ornamental grass with 3/4" wide, dark green arching leaves. It forms open clumps up to 3' tall. The grassy tufts will turn golden brown in fall and persist through winter. It produces attractive seed heads atop slender stems that will tend downwards under the weight. The seeds are 1/4" long or more, oval with a distinctive beak at the end which gave rise to the common name "American beakgrain".


Diarrhena americana is a low maintenance, non-aggressive grass that is adapted to shaded conditions. It is easy to grow in average to rich soils. It prefers a moist environment but can tolerate dry shade, and is also often found naturalized along wet stream banks. It spreads both by seed and by creeping rhizomes, slowly forming dense colonies under ideal conditions. A good choice for a shade garden specimen, or woodland groundcover. Flowering times are in June and July. Zones 5-6


Easy to propagate from seed or by clump division.

Additional Notes

American beakgrain is a rare species and should be considered threatened in its natural range. One of the few grasses adapted to full shade and with good ornamental value.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: MD, WI
  • Threatened: MI


Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida Monocotyledons
Subclass Commelinidae
Order Cyperales
Family Poaceae Grass family
Genus Diarrhena beakgrain
Species Diarrhena americana American beakgrain