Miscanthus | Chinese Silver Grass

Miscanthus | Chinese Silver Grass

from 3.00

Miscanthus sinensis

Plant for the wealth of mulch, the beauty of its fountain shape, and the music of grasslands!

Hardy from Zones 5-9. 3-7 feet tall, up to 6 feet wide.

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Our Valley was once prairie with mixed woodland. The sound of summer wind in tall grass fits this place. That melody is one of the reasons we’re excited about Miscanthus sinensis, the flowering stalks of China, or Chinese Silvergrass! Miscanthus grew up in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands, and this particular species of Silvergrass hails from the lowlands and alpine regions of China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. It’s long been cultivated as an ornamental for its purplish flowers, fluffy feathery tassels, and speckled green stems (earning it the nickname Zebra Grass) that turn the color of straw in Autumn. The stems and leaves arch into a shapely fountain of grass.

Chinese Silvergrass forms dense tight clumps and spreads underground through rhizomes and also by seed. It can easily spread to disturbed areas and marginal spots, but attentive tending can encourage good boundaries. Speaking of which, the dense clumping habit provides excellent border and even a tolerable deer fence! Silvergrass grows well with full sun and in a wide range of soil, particularly moist soil near ponds.

Some researchers are experimenting with Miscanthus as a biofuel for heat and power because it quickly sequesters carbon and produces a high yield of biomass, which is also why we want it. More specifically, we want it for a resilient abundant local mulch! In Summer and Autumn, cut armloads of long-lasting mulch to add to compost piles or keep garden soils cool and moist. Of course, leave some of that gorgeous foliage for winter wind chimes and protecting the plant’s crown, but there’s enough for harvest and beauty. We’ve also heard of folks using Miscanthus straw bales for house construction!

We propagate our Silvergrass from crown divisions from neighborly ornamental gardens.