Miscanthus

Miscanthus

If Pygmalion were a gardener, Miscanthus would come to life as fountains, some of them spouting tall and upright to 10 ft. Graceful and robust, they’re favored for their lush foliage and silky terminal panicles. Striking as a single specimen, Miscanthus is also excellent when massed in the perennial bed or a mixed border. Attractive year-round, with fall colors of yellow, purple, scarlet and burgundy, they fade to a lovely warm ivory in winter.

A sterling Kurt Bluemel introduction, ‘Adante’ spawns strong upright stems clothed in broad green blades, distinctively etched by light central stripes. Pink-blushed plumes mature with silver-laced high-lights, projecting an unbeatable floral effect above graceful loosely arranged and somewhat pendant foliage. This probable Miscanthus transmorrisonensis descendant can frame a view, define a threshold or serve as a large awe-inspiring focal point in the landscape.

Blooms September-November

Size: 7-1/2' high x 3' 0" – 4' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

This wildly popular hybrid affords an upright compact habit, superlative fall color plus an outstanding winter presence. Flushed with a reddish tinge that deepens throughout the summer, the medium green blades eventually brandish vivid orange-red fall colors. Crimped rosy tassels morph into creamy white plumes, and set against the burgundy-streaked leaves, become a stunning late summer spectacle. Alluring nearly year round especially when grouped or planted as a stand-alone, Flame Grass’ tight medium-sized silhouette earns its title when the nights cool down.

Blooms July–February

Size: 4' 0" – 5' 0" high x 2-1/2' – 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Miscanthus sinensis</i> ‘Adagio’

The wiry, silver gray-striped, fine textured olive-green foliage of this playful low grower is topped with pink panicles, which turn white. Small-statured ‘Adagio’ is perfect for a tight spot and as a companion to pewter-tinged leaves such as Stachys ‘Helen von Stein’ or Geranium x riversleaianum ‘Mavis Simpson’.

Blooms September–November.

Size: 4' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 7.

Slender grayish green blades dress up with pewter midribs while forming a fine textured compact clump. Sojourning well above the tailored pedestal, a profusion of silver washed, feathery white panicles glimmer in the late season sun. ‘Allegro’ orchestrates an upbeat medium-sized silhouette, and in fall conducts a colorful finale as tangerine shades transform its blades.

Blooms August – November.

Size: 4' 0" – 4-2/3' high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Miscanthus sinensis</i> var. <i>condensatus</i>

(formerly sold as Miscanthus transmorrisonensis)

Don’t let the clunky name fool you. Of all the Miscanthus, this is the most graceful. Planted en masse, silky silver flowers held on gently arching stems look like water flowing from a fountain of evergreen foliage. As a specimen, it should be planted in a raised area in order to appreciate its weeping form.

Blooms July–November.

Size: 6' 0" – 7' 0" high x 6' 0" – 7' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 7.

<i>Miscanthus sinensis</i> var. <i>condensatus</i> ‘Cosmopolitan’

Usher this towering variegated aristocrat into your landscape and a bold statement is yours to enjoy. Wide semievergreen blades feature white streaked margins and green centers with creamy white vertical stripes. Strong stems hurl skyward, supporting the outward arching foliage and, come late summer, they unfurl a sea of silky copper red tassels, eventually maturing to fawn-colored seed heads.

Discovered in Japan during the 1940s, the mighty 'Cosmopolitan' shapes a robust, dense, yet billowy mass that never flops, serves well as a noble specimen, hedge or screen, and rustles delightfully in the wind.

Blooms August – November.

Size: 6' 0" – 8' 0" high x 5' 0" – 7' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

Gorgeous deep burgundy flower heads that eventually lighten to a creamy chroma, and sparkling silver midribs invigorate ‘Ferner Osten’s dense, arching mass of dark green blades. Introduced by the esteemed German nurseryman Ernst Pagels, this paramount Miscanthus sports a vigorous, yet compact guise that holds its own as a vibrant specimen and looks especially sensational when planted in a drift. 4–5´ x 3´; August–November. Zone 6.

Blooms August–November.

Size: 4' 0" – 5' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

Prepare yourself for a sterling, late season splash as silky plumes glow in golden splendor, and later flaunt sophisticated silvered shades. While narrow blades with prominent midribs sport a pearly sheen and maintain their composure late into the season, this slender beauty stands in sharp relief to a coarse-textured carpet of Trachystemon orientalis at its base.

Blooms September–November.

Size: 5' 0" – 6' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Sharing many of the attributes of its larger, better-known relation, Miscanthus ‘Zebrinus’, this preeminent specimen is noticeably smaller. Introduced by Hines Nursery of California, ‘Hinjo’ displays copper-colored blooms and lax foliage with bold yellow stripes in an irregular, horizontal pattern. The bands are set more closely, and especially when viewed from afar, create a spellbinding effect. An excellent option for a garden with limited room, Compact Zebra Grass maintains a good form, and is a high-spirited companion for Rudbeckia triloba ‘Prairie Glow’ and Sedum ‘Mr. Goodbud’.

Blooms September – November.

Size: 5' 0" – 6' 0" high x 3' 0" – 3-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Kaskade’ (G-0490)

Each $9.75

AVAILABLE SPRING 2019

<i>Miscanthus sinensis</i> ‘Kaskade’

One of the finest summer-blooming Miscanthus, this hearty Ernest Pagels creation draws its namesake from the elegant cascading blooms. Rosy colored and large, measuring nearly 10 in. long, the early-to-unfurl inflorescences feature pendent openly arranged branches lolling a good ways beyond the foliage. Narrow leaves don white midribs, while shaping an upright pillar that come autumn blazes coppery reds and finally bleaches to pewter, in perfect harmony with the mature silvery buff racemes. Eupatorium’s reddish purple domes offer contrasting flower shapes and a union of similar colors.

Blooms July–October.

Size: 6' 0" high x 3' 0" – 4' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Kleine Fontaine’ (G-0535)

Each $9.75

AVAILABLE SPRING 2019

<i>Miscanthus sinensis</i> ‘Kleine Fontaine’

The preeminent plantsman, Ernest Pagels, out did himself when he bred this exquisite ornamental grass, considered by many to be the most beautiful of the more diminutive Miscanthus. Its merits are numerous: an elegant compact silhouette, early-to-bloom rouge- tinged flowers held well above fine-textured blades and excellent cold hardiness. Unlikely to overwhelm its neighbors, ‘Little Fountain’ effectively ushers arching, deep green fluid accents and stylish long lasting plumes into any planting, especially those short on space.

Blooms July–November.

Size: 3' 0" – 4-1/2' high x 3' 0" – 3-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Originating as a Miscanthus ‘Yaku Jima’ seedling, ‘Little Kitten’ is a pleasingly bushy mound; its compact form is just right for those who want the drama of ornamental grasses in an intimate setting. Thin, silver-green wiry leaves are decorated in fall by an elegantly spare show of small, silvery plumes. Plant en masse with Eryngium variifolium.

Blooms September–November.

Size: 2' 0" – 2-1/2' high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Esteemed German plantsman Ernest Pagels had a trained eye for making stellar grass selections, and this colorful cultivar is no exception. Hoisted on thick wine-tinged stems, large, abundant crimped plumes appear early, showing off lustrous coppery purple hues, which eventually lighten to silver. The vigorous rounded clump of broad and lax rich green blades with ash-striped midribs can pose as a picturesque specimen in a mixed border, where its bronze, red and orange fall hues will surely draw attention.

Blooms September – November.

Size: 5' 0" – 7' 0" high x 3' 0" – 4' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Delicate, vertical stripes of creamy white grace the long, narrow green blades of ‘Morning Light’, creating a splash of fine foliage that would satisfy even without the feathery, pinkish panicles that appear just above. A beauty!

Blooms September–December.

Size: 5' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Nippon’ (G-0012)

Each $9.75

AVAILABLE SPRING 2019

Deep rosy violet stems and seed heads rise above the slightly broader, lush green blades. If you’ve wanted to try a Miscanthus, but have a smaller scale garden, here’s the plant for you.

Blooms August–November.

Size: 4' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Miscanthus sinensis</i> ‘Positano’

A graceful standout, ‘Positano’ warms the fall landscape with sunkissed colors. Large, red, glistening plumes are cast well above the impressive upright fountain of arching, fine textured blades. Etched by pewter midribs, the foliage grows in a sophisticated crisscross pattern and when fall arrives, transmutes toasty reds and oranges.

Revered grass aficionado Ernst Pagels raised this clump-forming cultivar whose first-class profile and rich hues can accentuate Rudbeckia ‘Goldquelle’ and Helianthus ‘Capenoch Star’.

Blooms August–November.

Size: 6' 0" – 7' 0" high x 3' 0" – 5' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Miscanthus sinensis</i> ‘Rigoletto’

If your garden is short on space, ‘Rigoletto’ is a brightly patterned treasure that you’ll want to squeeze in.

More compact and smaller scaled than ‘Variegatus’, this Kurt Bluemel introduction parades slender blades inscribed with gleaming white vertical stripes. Topped by red-tinged flowering plumes, the loose gracefully arching clump asserts dramatic ivory-toned highlights for the landscape or for a glazed cobalt-blue container.

Blooms August–November.

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 2-1/2' – 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Aptly named, ‘Rotsilber’ translates “red and silver,” which denotes the showy flowers’ intriguing evolution. Emerging crimped and flushed in lustrous red tones atop green and wine-tinted stems, the plumes later attain a silver splashed, soft fluffy appearance. Ernst Pagels introduced this impressive upright selection whose slim and compact, energetic green blades are enhanced by steel-hued midribs and passionate orange and maroon fall colors, forging a stately stand-alone specimen for the mixed border or a more untamed locale.

Blooms August – November.

Size: 4' 0" – 5' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

‘Sarabande’ really puts on a show with sprays of blush-hued flowers that emerge straight as arrows, then open looking freshly crimped and fade to silver. Graceful, swaying stems and a fine flourish of foliage complete the three-tiered effect. The variegated leaf blades have an olive cast that harmonizes nicely with silver and gray-foliaged plants. We’ve seen ‘Sarabande’ maintain its composure through the worst of coastal gales.

Blooms August–December.

Size: 5' 0" – 6' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Coined ‘Silver Tower’, this kingly cultivar is the best tall growing Miscanthus we know. Asserting a BIG and bold grandeur in the landscape, the lush column of long broad foliar ribbons, which arch out and down in a lax manner, gracefully rises heavenbound. Large, loosely arranged silver plumes shimmer when they catch the sun nearly 10 spectacular feet above us.

Whether it’s mixed with tropicals, framing a threshold or premiered as a towering specimen, the magnificent ‘Silberturm’ exhibits a fine form all season and will surely turn quite a few heads.

Blooms August–November.

Size: 8' 0" – 9' 0" high x 5' 0" – 6' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Miscanthus sinensis</i> ‘Strictus’

Sharing many of the attributes of its more common relation, Zebra Grass, this preeminent specimen is a bit denser, stiffer, and more upright. Beautifully at home at water’s edge, ‘Strictus’ displays coppery blooms and lax foliage with bold blond-colored stripes in an irregular, horizontal pattern. When viewed from afar, the warm bands create a spellbinding effect.

Porcupine Grass maintains a good form, and is a high-spirited companion for Bergenia ‘Bressingham White’ and Sedum ‘Matrona’.

Blooms August–November.

Size: 6' 0" – 8' 0" high x 3-1/2' – 4-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Miscanthus transmorrisonensis</i>

Don’t let the clunky name fool you. Collected from seed at 9500 ft. on Taiwan’s Mount Daxue by Paul Meyer and C. Ferris Miller and introduced in 1979, this is the most graceful of all the Miscanthus. Pendent, silky silver flowers, held on long gently arching stems look like water flowing from a fountain of narrow, glossy green foliage. This clumping grass remains evergreen in warmer climates and can be positioned as a lone specimen, but best shows its low weeping profile and artful beauty when massed, in a raised area or on a slope with Helianthus ‘Santa Fe’ and Aster ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ nearby.

Blooms late July – November.

Size: 4' 0" – 5' 0" high x 4' 0" – 6' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

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Fantastic Fall Foliage, Last Hurrah Sale!!

Fantastic Fall Foliage.... The arresting foliage of these easy-care, low growing perennials remains tidy well into November. Adequate water, mulch and a mid-season trim help ensure their staying power.

November's last hurrah.... The shorter days and cooler nights of November have set the garden ablaze with eye-catching foliar color. By planting an assortment of woody plants as well as herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses, which promote late season allure, a last hurrah is easily achieved. Each of the plants included in this newsletter bestow either plump berries, late blooms, compelling foliage or artful branching patterns. Happy Digging!

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