Here's a favorite flower of Jennifer Brennan, horticulture information specialist at Chalet in Wilmette and horticulture correspondent for ABC 7 "News This Morning." Why she loves it: I love the inflorescences when they emerge in September, starting green with a hint of pink and turning silvery tan. They turn into fluffy foxtails and remain open and feathery even when dry. Unlike its cousin, Calamagrostis x acutiflora, which has very vertical stems and plumes , fall blooming feather grass tends to radiate out in all directions, creating a very arching, graceful, exciting effect in the garden. About Calamagrostis: It is a warm-season grass that is clump-forming, upright-arching in overall form, to 4 feet tall in flower and 3 feet wide. It is attractively lax in growth with arching 1/2-inch-wide glossy green leaves that turn yellow in fall. It stays in bloom from September into October. The flower spikes last into winter, and are suitable for fresh or dry arrangements. What it likes: It is grown easily in a range of soils, and in partial shade or full sun if provided sufficient moisture. It self-sows in moist shady locations to a minor extent, but that makes it easy to share or add to other areas of your garden. It's easily managed and hardy to Zone 4 [the Chicago area is Zone 5]. Tricks of the trade: Cut it back in late winter. Propagate it by seed or by division in spring. It works as an effective specimen by itself but also is excellent in groups or masses. It is wonderful in containers. A great architectural grass for shadier locations. Best buds: * In shade: Brunnera macrophylla, astilbe, hosta, Dicentra spectabilis, Corydalis lutea, boxwood. * In sun: Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus,' Eupatorium coelestinum, Geranium sanguineum, Phlox paniculata, Sedum 'Autumn Joy.'