Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Flame Grass, Eulalia, Maiden Grass, Zebra Grass, Chinese Silvergrass
Miscanthus sinensis 'Purpurascens'

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Miscanthus (miss-KANTH-us) (Info)
Species: sinensis (sy-NEN-sis) (Info)
Cultivar: Purpurascens
Additional cultivar information: (aka Autumn Red)

Synonym:Miscanthus sinensis var. purpurascens
Synonym:Miscanthus oligostachyus

7 vendors have this plant for sale.

19 members have or want this plant for trade.

Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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3 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative 00264167 On Oct 17, 2012, 00264167 from herne bay
United Kingdom wrote:

This has to be one of the most disappointing plants in the garden or that ive ever owned.
i spent a couple of years growing it to mature size and have never seen any of the famed autumn colour, it just turns brown and starts doing it 6 weeks earlier (or more) than miscanthus sinensis cultivars. last year the plant went brown very quickly after only one frost night.

it also has very little interest for the rest of the growing season as the foliage is dull and densely packed, it just sits there all year doing nothing and it seems to need alot of water and be less drought tolerant compared to other MS grasses, (even in average uk summers) otherwise it wilts/leave curls. I have read that it can therefore take a more shaded/damp position so ive moved mine and will see how it does.

if you want autumn colour then you might be better off with miscanthus sioux, which i have and has turned a nice dark red now the day temp is about 10-15c, miscanthus ghana also looks good although i have never grown it, even maleparthus had decent colour, better than purpurascens.

ive often wondered if the colour only develops in america or its hotter and more settled native climates where the change from summer to autumn is perhaps more gradual than in the uk (zone 8).
i will probably be getting rid of mine as its just not worth the space when there are much better grasses that can take its place.

Positive JonthanJ On Dec 20, 2011, JonthanJ from Logansport, IN wrote:

I like the rusty winter color and the smaller scale, but this variety brings up a problem that several Miscanthus varieties share. It wants to have water just as things turn kind of dry around here. They all make a slow start in the spring and then grow in June, July, and August filling in nicely as a lot of other stuff goes over. They can make good fall color if they continue to get plenty of water down into October. Of course, well established clumps develop serious roots so you may see better color on older clumps.

Positive chiron On Aug 27, 2006, chiron from Midland, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I planted this grass two years ago. The first spot it was shaded out by larger plants so I moved it into a more open area. This year it has grown very well and is sending out flower heads at the end of August. It didn't color much last year, but I have hopes for it this year.

Positive lmelling On Oct 23, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

This cultivar not quite as graceful as some of the others, but the color is lovely in fall - a reddish purple. The plumes take on a whitish appearance and appear towards early fall.

This was one of the first types I planted. I had them in a fairly wet area in spring, but found that they didn't seem to be doing well so I replanted to their present location on a moist but well drained slope in one of my gardens. It's been here in this spot for 3 years and doing well. Growth appears slow, but they put on a nice show that will stay through the winter for interest.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Denver, Colorado
Cherry Valley, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Logansport, Indiana
Bloomfield, Iowa
Midland, Michigan
Kasota, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Florence, Mississippi
Lincoln, Nebraska
Whitehouse Station, New Jersey
Coram, New York
Ithaca, New York
Salem, Oregon
Milford, Pennsylvania
Conway, South Carolina
Christiana, Tennessee
Millington, Tennessee
Crockett, Texas

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