Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Miscanthus Sinensis ‘Zebrinus’

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Miscanthus 'Zebrinus' (24/07/2011, London)

Miscanthus 'Zebrinus' (24/07/2011, London)

Position: Full sun

Soil: Moist, well drained soil

Flowering period: Early autumn

Eventual Height: 1.5m

Eventual Spread: 1m

Hardiness: USDA Zone 5a-9b

Family: Poaceae

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’ is a deciduous, perennial grass with a clump forming habit. Its herbaceous foliage is formed from narrow, arching leaves, which bear transverse bands of cream or pale yellow. It may, depending on conditions, bear fan shaped panicles of awned, hairy, silvery-gray or pale pink spikelets in early autumn.

Miscanthus sinensis, commonly known as Chinese Silver Grass or Eulalia Grass, is native to much of eastern Asia including Korea, China and Japan. Research is currently being carried out in the United States and Great Britain into using this species for the production of bio-energy.

Miscanthus is derived from the Greek miskos meaning ‘stem’ and anthos meaning ‘flower’, referring to the stalked spikelets, with sinensis meaning ‘of or from China’.

This plant may be useful to the landscape architect as a low maintenance, tall grass. It will make an exceptional impact when planted en-masse in windswept sites as its foliage sways in a breeze. It can also form a component of prairie style planting.

The Royal Horticultural Society gave this plant their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 2001.

This plant will tolerate almost any soil conditions; it will be happy at neutral, acid or alkaline pH levels, in loam, clay or sand based soils facing any sheltered or exposed aspect. It is also drought tolerant once established.

Ecologically this plant will attract various species of birds that will use it as cover from predators.

Maintenance: The residual winter leaves and flowering plumes may be cut down to ground level in late winter before the new foliage appears. When clumps of this grass become too large it may be propagated by division in spring.


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