Tufted Hairgrass is native to the cool, coastal bluffs, and as such performs best in gardens with a little extra water. In inland gardens, it will also appreciate some shade. The foliage is a vibrant dark green, and typically forms clumps about a foot tall and wide. The graceful flowering stems appear in late spring or early summer, sparkling in the gentle spring sunlight. All the bunchgrasses, with their extensive fibrous root systems, are great for erosion control on hillsides.

Deschampsia cespitosa could be used in a meadow planting, combined with other coastal species such as Iris douglasiana, Sisyrinchium bellum, and Sidalcea malviflora. Hairgrass could also be planted with water-loving natives from riparian plant communities like Columbine, Wild Ginger, and Chain Fern. Bunchgrasses provide cover for all sorts of insects, and caterpillars of some species of Grass Skippers will use the plant.

Grasses also provide both seeds and nesting materials for birds. Deer do not browse any of the native bunchgrasses!