Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Miscanthus x giganteus

Behind the Banana trees and bamboo, in that section of the garden known as the jungle. I have a planting of Miscanthus x giganteus. In the late afternoon it is the perfect place to relax to listen to the music of rustling leaves and birdsong.
The silvery pink flowers shine in the sun and you know that summer is peaking.
Miscanthus x giganteus
This grass is native to Japan and is a sterile hybrid between the species M sinensis and M. sacchariflorus. It dies down in winter and is often slow to return but makes rapid growth once the days become long and warm. It is more widely known in both Europe and the U. S. as a commercial energy crop for the production of electricity and biofuel. It is one of the so called C4 (carbon fixation) plants of note as it has greater photosynthetic and water efficiency, and lower fertilizer requirements than most other plants. I am not aware of it being grown commercially in Australia but that may have something to do with the risk tall grass crops have as a fire hazard given our recent bushfire history.
Miscanthus x giganteus is a terrific ornamental grass for tropical style or informal gardens. It can be grown by dividing plants in spring as shown in this video. This may require Herculean effort however so just don't ask me to supply you with a plant.
2017 update: I have one plant in a 300mm pot in stock.

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