Halloween decorations are taking over the stores already, so maybe it’s not too early to start looking at the spooky side of the garden. I saw this gorgeous specimen of Japanese Blood Grass (Imperata cylindrica) happily growing in a neighbor’s parking strip the other day:
I love the deep red against the lime green in the foliage. It likes full sun or light shade, might need a bit of mulch to overwinter in colder climates (my plant book says it’s okay for Zones 4-9), and prefers moist/well-drained soil. Some areas consider it to be aggressive, but at least in Seattle I don’t think I’ve ever seen one take over. Perhaps it is best grown in a setting and climate where you can keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn’t cause trouble.
To round things out before Oct. 31, maybe I need to track down and photograph some of the other “blood” themed plants – Bleeding heart (I know, it’s a spring thing), Blood flower, Bloodroot and Bloody butcher!?!