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Hakone Grass, Japanese Forest Grass
Hakonechloa macra

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hakonechloa (hah-koh-nee-KLO-uh) (Info)
Species: macra (MAK-ruh) (Info)


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo



24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


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:

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:



Grown for foliage




Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


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


Clovis, California

San Leandro, California

Chicago, Illinois

Petersburg, Virginia

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 18, 2011, barbiefish from Petersburg, VA wrote:

Like wendymadre, I've been told it doesn't grow well in this area. In fact a very comprehensive garden center nearby won't stock it because of this reputation. However, I am doing well with planting it in the ground.
(1) First time I planted H.m. (9 or more years ago) only 1 striped cultivar was available here (from plant sale) -- dark green w/ skinny white stripes. It has flourished and spread considerably but reverted to all green when it came up the year after planting.
(2) Two years ago I found some nice gallons of H.m. 'Aureola' and planted groups of 3 in three different places. The two patchs receiving some sun are flourishing and are spreading wonderfully. The patch in the shade is fine but not growing as fast. The yellow stripes get whiter with sun and as the sum... read more


On Apr 12, 2011, wendymadre from Petersburg, VA wrote:

Petersburg, Virgina, Zone 7. I bought a one-gallon pot of hakonechloa at a plant sale last October (2010). I commented to the vendor that I had seen it in a lot of magazines but not available locally. He told me that it does not thrive in the ground here, does better here in pots, due to the humidity and clay soil. I left it in its pot out in a semi-protected area and it survived a colder than average winter. Now, in April, I'm potting it on to a twelve-inch pot and hope it will slowly grow so I can divide it.