Content Detail

Silver banner grass (Miscanthus sacchariflorus) is similar in appearance to the miscanthus often used in gardens (Miscanthus sinensis), but is far more aggressive. It is a spreading plant that can colonize and quickly overtake a yard. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting this grass.

  • Family (English) Grass
  • Family (botanic) Poaceae
  • Tree or plant type Grass, Perennial
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil, Wet soil
  • Tolerances Wet sites
  • Season of interest early winter, midwinter, late winter, early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall, mid fall, late fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Other
  • Shape or form Arching, Upright

Size and form: 

This grass grows 4 to 6 feet tall and has an upright to arching habit. This is a running grass that can spread aggressively via underground rhizomes.

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Native to China, Korea and Japan, it is often found growing in wet, lowland areas.

Leaf description: 

The leaves are up to 3/4 inches wide and up to 1 foot long. They are medium green with a very distinct white midvein. Leaves turn yellow to brown in autumn.

Flower description: 

Flowering time is late summer. The tiny flowers are held in tassel-like clusters that are held above the foliage. The clusters are silvery on emergence. 

Fruit description: 

The small fruit (caryopsis or grains) form along the tassel-like structures that held the flowers. The fruiting structures are silvery white in winter.

Plant care:

Full sun and wet soils are best, although heavy clay soils may slow the spread of this plant a little. Avoid dry soils. This is a running grass that can spread aggressively via underground rhizomes. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting this grass.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

This plant has no serious pests or diseases. It is tolerant of wet sites.

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