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Plants with long a thin leaves

Updated February 21, 2017

Ornamental grasses and conifers are two groups of plants that characteristically feature long, thin leaves. Grasses such as Miscanthus giganteus grows to 7.5 m (25 feet) tall, with leaves only 2.5 cm (1 inch) wide. The leaves on the Italian stone pine can reach up to 30 cm (12 inches) long. Leaves typically vary in length and width according to the climate and light conditions of a plant's native habitat.

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The shoestring Acacia (Acacia stenophylla) native to Australia, has long, silvery-green leaves about 6 mm (1/4 inch) wide. It grows to 12 m (40 feet) and is hardy to -7.78 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit). Palms such as the Canary Island date palm, have long, thin, arching leaves made up of thin fronds. It grows to 18 m (60 feet) and is hardy to -4 degrees C (25 degrees F). Willows also produce long, thin leaves on weeping branches.


Pineapple broom (Cystisus battandieri) is native to the mountains of North Africa. It grows to 3.6 m (12 feet) tall with needle-like leaves about 30 cm (12 inches) long. Its flowers are strongly scented with a pineapple fragrance. It is hardy to minus -20.5 degrees C (-5 degrees F). The common butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii) has long, narrow grey leaves.


Perennials such as daylilies, yucca, New Zealand flax (Phormium spp.) angel's fishing rod (Dierama spp.) and irises all feature long, thin, upright leaves. Siberian irises grow in a clump of narrow, grasslike foliage topped by deeply coloured blooms. Bulbs such as Fritillaria have long, narrow leaves on thin stalks, and many common bulbs, such as daffodils, scilla, snowdrops and hyacinths have long, thin, upright leaves.


Tropical plants with long, narrow foliage commonly grown as houseplants include spider plant, with arching green-and-white striped leaves; snake plant, with stiff, upright leaves with a pointed tip; and dracaenas, with long, arching leaves in green or red.

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About the Author

Since 1981 Janet Bayers has written on travel, real estate trends and gardening for "The Oregonian" newspaper in Portland. Her work also has appeared in “Better Homes & Gardens,” “Traditional Home,” “Outdoor Living” and other shelter magazines. She holds a Master of Arts in linguistics from Michigan State University.

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