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PlantFiles: Eulalia, Maiden Grass, Zebra Grass, Chinese Silvergrass
Miscanthus sinensis

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Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Miscanthus (miss-KANTH-us) (Info)
Species: sinensis (sy-NEN-sis) (Info)

Synonym:Miscanthus sinensis var. gracillimus
Synonym:Miscanthus sinensis var. variegatus
Synonym:Miscanthus sinensis var. zebrinus

One vendor has this plant for sale.

14 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Category:
Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo
Perennials

Height:
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

Spacing:
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Hardiness:
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

Danger:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Maroon (Purple-Brown)

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:
Grown for foliage
Herbaceous
Blue-Green

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season
Provides winter interest

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:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 11 photos.
Click here to view them all!

Profile:

7 positives
5 neutrals
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Neutral coriaceous On Mar 15, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The narrow-leafed cultivars shed snow and ice better than those with broader foliage. They still tend to break down eventually here, where there's a lot of snow, but they usually look good into January, and sometimes beyond. This is a longer lasting winter ornamental in Washington DC than it is here.

It's tough and adaptable, needing only full sun and good drainage. I've only had it fail to establish when I've planted it late in the season---I now make sure it's planted before the end of June.

I cut the foliage back to about 6" in early spring, or by April 15 at the latest---otherwise the new leaves mix in with last year's, or the tips get an ugly flattop. Wear gloves and long sleeves when doing maintenance, as the leaf edges can give wicked cuts.

All Miscanthus will eventually start to die out at the center, generally in 5-10 years. They can be tough to divide, but I can generally cut off a chunk from the edge of the clump by jumping on a spade or using a serrated knife.

Some kinds of Miscanthus can invade natural areas in some parts of the country---it all depends on which miscanthus, and where. If you're interested in its invasive potential, I found two nuanced discussions helpful:

http://ipetrus.blogspot.com/2006/10/invasive-miscanthus-chal...
http://miscanthus.cfans.umn.edu/naturalized or escaped sites...

Negative Rickwebb On Jan 20, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

In the early 1990's when I discovered the Maiden Eulalaigrass, Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracilimus' I liked it along with the Porcupine and Zebra cultivars. The latter two are bigger and lodge over a lot in time. This one is shorter and stays better. However, all the larger Eulalia cultivars have the center die out in about 5 to 10 or more years and they are so hard to dig and reset. Some of them have sharp blade edges and they can cut your hands. I discovered in southeast PA that some cultivars are escaping into the meadows and look like sore thumbs there, becoming invasive Asian plants in the US. I don't use these plants anymore. I would much rather use forms of American Switchgrass

Positive surfcitysocal On Apr 19, 2013, surfcitysocal from Huntington Beach, CA wrote:

This plant is not 100% evergreen in my zone 10 (Sunset 24), but it is lovely and showy and worth the effort. It also needs room. I tried to squeeze several in a two-foot deep bed next to a walkway and the flowers were always slapping people as they walked by. I moved them to spots where they could grow unrestricted: the grass grows to just under 4' x 4' and the flowers can reach up to about 5'. The flowers are pinkish until they start to turn tawny in the fall, and the flowers will hang on easily until November. I usually cut them back to about a 2' x 2' mound once the flowers and the plants themselves start to look a little ratty. This grass does seem to need a little more water to look its best in sunnier spots than it does in shadier spots. You won't be disappointed by this grass...if you can find it. Unlike a previous poster mentioned, I don't have a problem with it bothering my skin.

Negative tropicsofohio On Jan 23, 2013, tropicsofohio from Hilliard, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

Hope I don't get any backlash from this comment, but im about to bash the entire miscanthus family. Aside from being an introduced, invasive species from china, it seems miscanthus is not the only thing that traveled over here from china. Miscanthus mealy bug (Miscanthicoccus miscanthi) has not only effected me at home, in my own garden, but also at work, where I tend to many acres of botanical gardens, and guess what everyone's favorite ornamental grass to plant is??? any ideas? I am at whits end with this grass.... I hate miscanthus!!! I hate it HATE IT HATE IT!!!!!!!!!!! my suggestion is to rip them all out of the ground, burn them, and forget about them, forget they ever existed. this pest is nearly impossible to get rid of, it hides very well from spraying, and has very limited success with a systemic insecticide, and is completely hardy to even the coldest Ohio winter. Just about the best thing about this pest is that it is genus specific, and will only target miscanthus. Another suggestion, lets all start loving our native plants. There are so many beautiful american native cultivars of grasses, big blue stem, little blue stem, switch grasses (pennisetum is another introduced invasive species) Im glad miscanthus is dying out, I've grown tired of staring at the same old stupid grasses. anyone with me??? lets start a revolution!!!

Positive Mike_W On Aug 30, 2012, Mike_W from Sterling, MA wrote:

Grows very well here in my zone 6 garden. Other than trimming it back in early spring, this plant has never required any other care. I planted 4 of them, one in each corner, of my tropical themed garden. It adds a very exotic touch and the butterflies and dragonflies love to land on the tall clumps of grass. For me, they tend to grow to be about 6 feet tall each season.

Positive NancyMcD On Mar 18, 2012, NancyMcD from Grand Marais, MI wrote:

An outstanding Miscanthus sinensis cultivar here on the south shore of Lake Superior is 'Little Zebra'. It does very well for us and isn't at all weedy. Because it's relatively short (four feet), it has time to bloom even in our short, cool growing season. This isn't true of some of the larger ones. Recommended.

Neutral olski On Oct 25, 2011, olski from San Diego, CA wrote:

WARNING!!!! While this plant stays green almost year round and grows well in San Diego, YOU MUST WEAR LONG SLEEVES, LONG PANTS AND GLOVES WHEN PRUNING!!!!! This pant will give you a rash and cuts that will spread and aggravate you for days. Trust me....save your self the inconvenience. Also plant away from walk ways. Just brushing the plant will provide the same results. You've been warned.

Positive BUFFY690 On Aug 11, 2011, BUFFY690 from Prosperity, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Love love love this med sized grass, looks good all year, normally we cut it back about Nov but we left it uncut last year...Made for a great backdrop for photos during our snow in 2010/11

Positive gapchwillow On Apr 28, 2008, gapchwillow from Macomb, IL wrote:

I think I'm going to be very pleased with the stand-alone specimen of Maiden Grass "gracillimus" that I added to my perennial bed last summer. I wasn't expecting it to bloom since it hadn't even been planted an entire season, but was pleasantly surprised with beautiful plumes in the fall that added a good amount of interest to my garden through the winter.

Neutral frostweed On Dec 27, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Eulalia, Japanese Silver Grass, Maiden Grass, Zebra Grass Miscanthus sinensisis naturalized in Texas and other States and is considered an invasive plant in Texas.

Positive Gabrielle On Jan 16, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I love Miscanthus. It grows well in an area I can't get other things to grow, and looks beautiful.

Positive Cesca_B On Apr 28, 2005, Cesca_B from Henderson, KY wrote:

While these plants can be 'invasive', if taken care of (including tending to the seedheads in the falls) they can provide great joy and a beautiful background for other plants in a sunny yard. I have had four miscanthus that have spent two years in my relatively new garden and while they tried to explode onto the scene, keeping them in has made them a part of my gardening joy.

Negative thelegend On Oct 8, 2003, thelegend wrote:

This plant is highly invasive. I have seen it take over hay fields, roadsides and just about everywhere else. In my opinion it should be avoided at least in Zones 6 and 7, where it appears to be most destructive to native vegetation.

Neutral mystic On Jan 19, 2003, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

In the warmer zones 8 and 9 the foliage is evergreen, and deciduous in the cooler zones.

Neutral Verdesign On Aug 3, 2001, Verdesign from Memphis, TN (Zone 7b) wrote:

M. sinensis is one of about twenty species of the genus Miscanthus. The reed-like stems bear narrow lance-shaped arching leaves. Panicles of silky spikes present in late summer and autumn. Miscanthus may be grown as a stand-alone specimen, in mixed borders, or at water-side.

Best grown in moderately fertile, moist and well-drained soil in full sun. Hard prune in later winter or very early spring.

Sow seed in containers in a cold frame in early spring. Or, divide as new growth starts in early spring.

This plant is rarely bothered by pests and diseases.

Regional...

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

,
Burgkunstadt,
Oildale, California
Denver, Colorado
Lewes, Delaware
Brooksville, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Boise, Idaho
Decatur, Illinois
Macomb, Illinois
Pontiac, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Davenport, Iowa
Hutchinson, Kansas
Olathe, Kansas
Pikesville, Maryland
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Sterling, Massachusetts
Grand Marais, Michigan
Springfield, Missouri
Hillsdale, New York
Jefferson, New York
Nineveh, New York
Emerald Isle, North Carolina
New Bern, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Prosperity, South Carolina
Hendersonville, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Keller, Texas
Seattle, Washington
Morgantown, West Virginia



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