Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus'
- Maiden Grass
'Gracillimus' is perhaps the oldest cultivar of Miscanthus sinensis
and remains very popular to this day. A late season bloomer here
at Bluestem, we see only the beginning stages of flowers. Nevertheless,
the hardiness, the fine foliage and the spectacular fall colours make
'Gracillimus' a favourite.
Description: warm season*; clump forming
Foliage is green; 7-10 mm (1/4-3/16") wide; 120-180 cm (48-72")
Flowers September until frost; 150-200 cm (60-80") tall
Ideal conditions: full sun or bright shade; fertile
soil; needs ample water in hot, dry conditions;
Zone: 5 - 9, possibly colder (find
your zone; further info on plant hardiness)
Suggested Uses: specimen, border, screen, hedge, background
plant, massing, by the water, arrangements
When divide: when it shows signs of life in the
spring, continuing until the new growth is about 18" tall; only
in the spring (further info on dividing
When to plant or transplant: plant bare root plants only in late spring to early summer, when the soil is warm, about the same time you plant your bean or corn seeds. The roots will
grow only in warm soil. Planting too early in the spring may cause the
roots to rot. Similar story in the fall when the roots may not grow enough
to establish before the cold and wet of winter, resulting in the demise
of the plant.
When to cut back: we enjoy the foliage of Miscanthus
so much that we like to leave it standing until the new growth starts
to appear, possibly as late as May. We also like the combination of
the tan foliage and spring bulbs. Cut back to about 6" from the
crown of the plant.
Partner with: Aster, Rudbeckia, Sedum, Yucca, Heliopsis
Season of interest: July till spring; will likely remain standing all winter
Drought tolerance rating: 3 (water to root depth once a week); further info
The species is native to: marshes, slopes, mountainsides
of Eastern Asia and west to Africa. It is a source for thatching material
for temple roofs and homes.
Recommended spacing between plants: 60-100cm (24-40")
why such a difference?
Pronunciation: Miscanthus (mis-KAN-thus) sinensis
(sin-EN-sis) Gracillimus (gra-SILL-ih-mus)
*a warm season grass likes to grow in warm weather. Before it will
show signs of life in the spring, the soil must warm up, and be warm
for possibly as long as two weeks.
There are some beautiful pictures of Miscanthus 'Gracillimus'
on a Flickr Gallery. Click
here to view.
Compare Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus' to our other grasses in this handy chart.