Common Name: zebra grass
Type: Ornamental grass
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 5.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to February
Bloom Description: Pinkish white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Black Walnut, Air Pollution
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. Cut foliage to the ground in late winter just before new shoots appear.
Zebra grass is a clump-forming grass noted for its horizontally banded foliage which is reminiscent of both the popular M. s. 'Strictus' and M. s. 'Puenktchen'. However, 'Zebrinus' clumps are rounded, tend to flop and often need support, whereas 'Strictus' and 'Puenktchen' both feature spiky, upright leaf blades in narrower clumps which usually do not need staking. 'Zebrinus' typically forms a substantial foliage clump to 4-6' tall, however it sends up flower stalks to 2' above the foliage clump, thus bringing the total height of the grass to 6-8' tall when in flower. Features dark green leaves with zebra-striped, golden yellow bands extending horizontally across the leaves at irregular intervals. Foliage gradually fades to tan after frost. Tiny pink/copper-tinted flowers appear in tassel-like inflorescences above the foliage in late summer, gradually turning into silvery white plumes in fall. Flower plumes persist well into winter providing good winter interest.
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. 'Zebrinus' clumps may need staking and are susceptible to collapsing in winter from heavy snows.
Versatile ornamental grass. Accent, specimen, grouping, mass or screen. Borders, meadows, wild gardens, cottage gardens, naturalized areas or pond/water garden peripheries.