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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Miscanthis Sinensis Tassels Waving in the Wind

Though it is listed in the invasive plants list for Tennessee the very quality that makes Miscanthis sinensis so invasive makes it fun to have in the garden, the seeds!  Ornamental grasses of all kinds add great fall color interest with their seed heads or tassels that wave in the wind. This particular variety is 'Zebrinus' or Zebra grass.




If you are looking for a nice substitute for miscanthus that is also a native try switch grass (Panicum virgatum). I've added two switchgrass varieties this year to the gardens: 'Shenandoah' and 'Northwind'. Both of which are worthy plants in the landscape but are a little different in appearance than miscanthus. 'Shenandoah' has a nice reddish tint to its late summer and fall foliage with clouds of seeds. 'Northwind' is a strong upright plant with green foliage and airy seed heads. 'Shenandoah' is in our back garden near the greenhouse and 'Northwind' is near our mailbox garden (May 2008, August 2009).


Have you added any new grasses to your garden this year?


2 comments :

  1. It's tough for us gardeners when an invasive plant is so decorative, isn't it, Dave? Obviously, you could prevent miscanthus's invasive tendencies by cutting off the flower heads before the seeds ripen and drop, but unless you bring them indoors for wreaths and dried arrangements, then you're losing a lot of the plant's decorative potential. Good for you for "switching" (sorry, couldn't resist that) to switchgrass, which is very beautiful even if it isn't quite as much of a showstopper!

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  2. Morning Dave, I love ornamental grasses, even though there are some that are on the invasive lists. I did pull out a Pennisetum 'Moudry' as it reseeds.
    thanks for the visit on my blog, we are slowly getting things cleaned out. The sun is shining today, so the garage will dry a bit better.

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