A Look at Bluemel Grasses

The horticultural world has lost a Titan. Kurt Bluemel passed away last week after a brief illness. We at Hoffman Nursery know him best for his knowledge and breeding of ornamental grasses. His life was a testament to hard work, ingenuity, and creativity. John Hoffman, our founder, visited Bluemel’s nursery 30 years ago when John was just starting out in landscaping. He was inspired by Kurt’s nursery and his passion for grasses.

Kurt’s grasses have shaped Hoffman Nursery’s plant palette, and he is responsible for some of the most popular grasses in the industry. His legacy is enduring, and we’re happy to continue sharing it.

Those who knew Kurt Bluemel well have written about his life, including these tributes from Allen Bush on Garden Rant and the Bluemel site and from Panayoti Kelaidis. You can also read more about Kurt in the Baltimore Sun obituary and the Washington Post obituary. We wanted to show you his influence on us in pictures. Below, you’ll find a sampling of the plants we grow that Kurt introduced. We think it’s a fitting tribute to the Grass King.

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Foxtrot'
Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Foxtrot’ is a time-tested and popular cultivar of Fountain Grass.
Pennisetum alopcuroides 'Moudry'
Pennisetum alopcuroides ‘Moudry’ has gorgeous plumes and a beautiful habit.
Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Cassian'
Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Cassian’ is named for Cassian Schmidt, Garden Director of Hermanshof, the teaching and research garden in Weinheim, Germany.
Panicum virgatum 'Squaw'
Panicum virgatum ‘Squaw’ catches the light with its generous plumes.
Miscanthus sinensis 'Sarabande'
Miscanthus sinensis ‘Sarabande’ (at the far right) has beautiful plumes that emerge above the foliage.
Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light'
Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’ is one of our most popular and beautiful Maiden Grass cultivars.
Miscanthus sinensis 'Adagio'
Miscanthus sinensis ‘Adagio’, a beautiful selection of Dwarf Maiden Grass with a lovely, lyrical name.
Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea 'Skyracer'
Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea ‘Skyracer’ is a Moor Grass selection with beautiful plumes that tower above the foliage.
Schyzachyrium scoparium 'The Blues'
Schyzachyrium scoparium ‘The Blues’, with its bright blue foliage, is our most popular Little Bluestem.
Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal'
Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’ has an outstanding, upright habit and bright blue foliage. One of our most popular Switchgrasses.

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