Hakone Grass

Tips on this ornamental grass, also known as variegated Japanese reed grass.

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Plant type: Ornamental grass
Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 (with protection) to 9

This shade-tolerant hakone grass has graceful, yellow-striped leaf blades which cascade in a fountainlike form (all the leaves face the same way). Native to the Hakone region of Japan, this deciduous grass has a bamboolike appearance. It grows to 12 to 18 inches tall and about as wide; slow-growing habit.

How to use it: In masses, in containers or as a specimen plant in the shade garden. Plant this grass where it can cascade gracefully over a short rock ledge or small slope. Combine with other shade-loving plants, such as hostas, ferns or tricyrtis, or use it as an accent by itself.

Culture: Prefers partial to full shade. Variegated selections will have more prominent color with more sun; chartreuse in shade. Requires abundant moisture during its initial spring growth cycle, but make sure the soil is well-draining. Propagated by division.

Special Notes: Slow-growing ornamental grass for the shade garden. Valued for its brightly colored foliage that has a cascading habit.

Selected Cultivars

  • 'Aureola'. Golden-yellow leaves with green stripes.

  • 'Albovariegata'. This selection has creamy-white variegation. Tolerates more sunlight than 'Aureola'. Reaches 36 inches tall.

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