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Sugarcane Plumegrass Saccharum giganteum

Previously known as:

  • Erianthus giganteus
Phonetic Spelling
sah-KAY-rum jy-GAN-tee-um
Description

A native ornamental grass known as sugarcane in the Poaceae family and is found naturally in marshes and ditches. Tolerates air pollution and being planted near black walnut trees.  Can grow 15'-20' tall in tropical areas but typically grow to 8' outside the tropics. Has large arching leaf blades with sharp edges. Can be planted as a specimen or in large groups. This plant is best in meadows and other natural areas.

Long, narrow, alternate leaves are located mostly on the lower stem; long white hairs are present at the base of the leaves. Golden plumes appear in fall at the top of tall, erect stems. 

Seasons of Interest:

     Bloom: Fall; Fruit/Seed/Nut: Fall/Winter

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#specimen#wildlife plant#cover plant#winter interest#air pollution tolerant#black walnut#seeds#food source#NC native#deer resistant#native ornamental grass#larval host plant#food source winter#food source fall#food source herbage#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#native sedge#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#butterfly friendly#birds#butterfly larvae
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#specimen#wildlife plant#cover plant#winter interest#air pollution tolerant#black walnut#seeds#food source#NC native#deer resistant#native ornamental grass#larval host plant#food source winter#food source fall#food source herbage#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#native sedge#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#butterfly friendly#birds#butterfly larvae
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Saccharum
    Species:
    giganteum
    Family:
    Poaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Wildlife Value:
    Provides cover year round. Host plant for the Clouded Skipper butterfly. Seeds eaten sparingly by songbirds.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Highly deer resistant. Tolerates air pollution and being planted near black walnut trees.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Ornamental Grass
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Caryopsis
    Fruit Description:
    Fruits are available November-December.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Gray/Silver
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Flower Description:
    Golden plumes appear in fall at the top of tall, erect stems. Flowers bloom September-October.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Lawn
    Pond
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heat