Maiden Grass, Eulalia
Plant type: Ornamental grass
Botanical name: Miscanthus
Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 9, depending on selection
A low-maintenance, warm-season ornamental grass that is generally clump-forming and very durable in the landscape. Tassel-like plumes appear in late summer, about September or October. Average size is three to ten tall and about two to six feet wide, depending on selection.
How to use it: In masses, in containers, near a water garden or as a specimen plant. Use as dried or fresh cutflower. Combine with other grasses to create a naturalized planting. Winter interest.
Culture: Prefers full sun and tolerates a variety of soil conditions. Also heat- and humidity-tolerant. In late-winter or early-spring, cut back to about six to eight inches tall. When the center of the clump starts to die out or simply to control spread, divide. Taller selections may require staking. Propagated by division or seed. May have problems with mealybug or leaf blight.
Special Notes: Valued for its light-textured foliage, fall color and winter interest. Attracts wildlife, including birds. Warning: Maiden grass has a tendency to become invasive via self-seeding in warmer climates.
- M. 'Purpurascens'. Known as flame grass. Gorgeous reddish-orange fall color. Reaches five feet tall. USDA Zones 4 to 9.
- M. sinensis 'Morning Light'. Tall, narrow, green blades of grass with creamy white vertical stripes. Airy, pink plumes bloom from late summer through fall. Tolerates dappled shade. Doesn't require staking. Plant size is about four to five feet tall. USDA Zones 5 to 9.
- M. sinensis 'Gracillimus'. Narrow leaf blades are complemented by rust-colored plumes in late summer. Reaches seven feet tall. USDA Zones 5 to 9.
- M. sinensis 'Strictus'. With its horizontal banding on wide blades of grass, 'Strictus' is reminiscent of zebra grass (M. sinensis 'Zebrinus'), only it has a more upright, compact growth habit. Reaches nine feet tall. USDA Zones 5 to 9.
- M. sinensis 'Zebrinus'. Known as zebra grass. Horizontal banding on creamy-yellow, wide blades of grass. Reaches eight feet tall. USDA Zones 5 to 9.