Hakonechloa macra • Japanese Forest Grass

Hakonechloa Japanese • Forest Grass •  フウチソウ • 風知草  •  fūchi-sō

Thanks Corinne, for helping me to identify this plant, and for pointing out that most gardeners plant the colorful flower version of it, while SJG has the GREEN one…  I noticed it in area A –  the courtyard garden, but it is also growing in area C, right past the entrance to the Garden.


Hakonechloa macra • Japanese Forest Grass, Area A


Hakonechloa macra • Japanese Forest Grass, Area A

From Wikipedia:  Hakonechloa macra (Japanese forest grass, hakone grass) is a species of flowering plant in the family Poaceae, subfamily Arundinoideae, native to Japan. It is the only species in the monotypic genus Hakonechloa. It and its cultivars are used as foliage plants in gardens in temperate climates. […]

It is a small, mostly shade-loving, clump-forming, slowly spreading plant. The stalks cascade in a graceful rounded fountain shape somewhat reminiscent of Pennisetum (fountain grass) but with the actual foliage resembling Chasmanthium (The flowers are NOT similar). These grasses are notable for their texture and their colors as well as their general ease of maintenance. The leaves are thin and papery and resemble many forms of bamboo. They are very flexible and have a distinctive rustling sound when the wind blows that adds to their appeal. The foliage rises from the roots on thin wiry stalks, and the flowers bloom in midsummer from leaf nodes near the ends of the stalks. The flowers are light purple fading to tan then dropping off over the course of several weeks. The leaf blades are green but many color variations exist. The papery texture keeps the foliage cool to the touch and often the surface is slightly puckered or rippled. The cultivars may be boldly variegated in stripes of white, green, or yellow, or have solid colored leaves. Some cultivars tend to turn orange or red in colder weather. The species tends to be between 45 cm and 60 cm (18″ to 24″) with cultivars often growing significantly shorter. The height may be somewhat dependent on soil moisture, nutrients, and length of growing season, though the plant is tough enough to survive in USDA Zone 5 (-20°F). It prefers even moisture and average humidity but can tolerate minor dry spells, and arid climates with minimal damage.

From youtube – video: Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ – Variegated Japanese Forest Grass – is a variegated grass with flat, divided leaves. It has a graceful appearance and works well in shaded areas as an accent. To learn more please watch the video. For information on many other plants please visit http://www.designwithplants.com

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