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Miscanthus sinensis

Phonetic Spelling
miss-KANTH-us sih-NEN-sis
Description

Miscanthus sinensis is the most common ornamental grass having numerous cultivars and has virtually no disease or pest problems. It is a clumping grass that grows up to 12' tall.  Some cultivars are considered weedy in the southeast. Mulching helps prevent seed germination. This is an invasive weed, rising to the number one weed problem in some North Carolina counties. It is utilized for mass planting, specimen planting, screens, and dried flower arrangements. Flowers and expanding whitish-hairy seeds are showy in the fall. This plant is difficult to eradicate when introduced. Wind-disseminated seeds increase the invasive nature of the plant. 

Allow the frost-killed portions of Maiden Grass to remain throughout the dormant season, as the buff-colored foliage, stalks, and fruiting heads have great winter interest. This plant prefers full sun and is tolerant of moist soils. It is relatively pest and disease free and is highly salt tolerant.  

Cut foliage down in late winter or early spring before, or just as, new blades appear.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Erect clumping grass
  • Terminal inflorescence in finger-like racemes

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Variegatus'
    Leaves bear marginal white, longitudinal stripes
  • 'Zebrinus'
    6-7' tall, leaves bear transverse bands of yellow on the leaves
Tags:
#arching#sun#showy flowers#fall color#songbirds#wildlife plant#weedy#salt tolerant#cover plant#winter interest#playground#dried flowers#children's garden#pollinator plant#fantz#poor soils tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Variegatus'
    Leaves bear marginal white, longitudinal stripes
  • 'Zebrinus'
    6-7' tall, leaves bear transverse bands of yellow on the leaves
Tags:
#arching#sun#showy flowers#fall color#songbirds#wildlife plant#weedy#salt tolerant#cover plant#winter interest#playground#dried flowers#children's garden#pollinator plant#fantz#poor soils tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Miscanthus
    Species:
    sinenesis
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Asia
    Wildlife Value:
    Resistant to deer, attract birds for the seeds
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 12 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ornamental Grass
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Cascading
    Columnar
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    Very Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Aggregate
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Good Dried
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Inflorescences a terminal panical of spikelets that unfurl atop the central vertical stalks, and differ among the numerous cultivars in terms of their time of emergence, color, separation from the upper foliage (well-separated or immersed within it), and Winter persistence. Secondary axes in elongate, finger-like racemes that grow up to 8" long. Spikelets are paired, less than an inch in size, lanceolate, and with long silky hairs basally. As fruits develop, axes develop hairs that spread for seed dispersal.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Variegated
    White
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Arching blades may range from 0.25" to 2" wide, and 3' to 5' long, sometimes with variegation on the medium-green foliage that is silver, white, cream, or yellow on the midrib. Leaves are flat, linear sheated, inconspicuously serrulate.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stems are cane-like, erect, spreading, bearing leaves reducing in size upwards and terminating in an inflorescence.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Mass Planting
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Humidity
    Salt
    Wet Soil
    Wind
    Problems:
    Weedy