Miscanthus sinensis 'Little Zebra'

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 6 Professionals
Common Name: eulalia
Type: Ornamental grass
Family: Poaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to February
Bloom Description: Wine purple fading to tan
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Black Walnut, Air Pollution

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of a wide range of soils from well-drained sandy soils to the heavy clays present in much of the St. Louis area. Prefers moist soils. Best in full sun. Less vigorous with decreased flowering and tendency to flop in too much shade. Tolerant of summer heat and humidity. Clumps slowly expand in circumference by short rhizomes, but retain tight clump shape. Foliage should be left standing throughout the winter for visual interest and to provide protection for the crowns. Cut foliage to the ground in late winter just before new shoots appear. Propagate by division of the crown.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Zebra grass (see Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’) is a clump-forming grass noted for its horizontally banded foliage. It typically grows in a substantial clump to 4-6’ tall, but sends up flower stalks to 2’ above the foliage, thus bringing the total height of the grass to 6-8’ tall when in flower. ‘Little Zebra’, sometimes commonly called dwarf zebra grass, is a compact cultivar that typically grows in a clump to 3-4’ tall and to 2-3’ wide. It is noted for its compact size, upright form, horizontally-banded foliage and wine-purple flower plumes. Leaf blades feature, at irregular intervals, distinctive horizontal yellow bands (to 1” in height) that retain good coloration throughout the growing season. Flowers appear in corymbose panicles of 10-13 racemes (each to 6” long) above the foliage in late summer. Tiny flowers emerge gray-purple with the plumes having an overall wine-purple coloration. As seeds begin to form, the flower/seed plumes fade to creamy tan, often providing some winter interest. Foliage fades to tan after frost. U. S. Plant Patent PP13,008 issued September 24, 2002.

Problems

No frequently occurring insect or disease problems. In some areas of the U.S., miscanthus mealybug and miscanthus blight are becoming significant problems. Miscanthus mealybug causes stunted growth and is difficult to eradicate because it lives inside the stems. Miscanthus blight is a fungal disease which attacks the blades and sheaths. Reportedly has good resistance to rust spots.

Garden Uses

Versatile dwarf ornamental grass. Accent, specimen, grouping or mass. Borders, meadows, wild gardens, cottage gardens, naturalized areas or pond/water garden peripheries.