Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus'

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 9 Professionals
Common Name: eulalia
Type: Ornamental grass
Family: Poaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 4.00 to 7.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to February
Bloom Description: Copper maturing to silver
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Good Cut, Good Dried
Leaf: Colorful, Good Fall
Attracts: Birds
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Black Walnut, Air Pollution

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, 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. Substantial clumps tend to flop (or totally collapse when subjected to heavy winter snows), and will often benefit from some support. Cut foliage to the ground in late winter just before new shoots appear.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Maiden grass is noted for its narrow green leaves with a silver midrib which form a substantial, rounded, arching clump of foliage typically growing 4-6' tall (to 8' when in flower). Foliage turns yellowish after frost, but quickly fades to straw-beige by winter. Tiny reddish-copper flowers appear in tassel-like inflorescences above the foliage in late September, gradually turning into silvery white plumes as the seeds mature. Blooms later than most Miscanthus cultivars. Flower plumes persist well into winter providing good winter interest. 'Gracillimus' is an old and very popular cultivar.

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. Mature clumps of 'Gracillimus' (3-4 years +) produce substantial foliage which sometimes needs support.

Garden Uses

Versatile ornamental grass, but clumps need lots of room. Accent, specimen, grouping, mass or screen. Borders, meadows, wild gardens, cottage gardens, naturalized areas or pond/water garden peripheries.