“Yaku Jima” grass can be planted with annuals to provide stature and variety of texture. (Richie Steffen)

“Yaku Jima” grass can be planted with annuals to provide stature and variety of texture. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Miscanthus sinensis ‘Yaku Jima,’ dwarf maiden grass

This clumping grass can be planted with annuals to provide stature and variety of texture.

What: Miscanthus sinensis “Yaku Jima” is noted for being a smaller form of the much larger wild species. “Yaku Jima” is very similar to “Adagio,” the difference being that “Yaku Jima” is slightly larger and the leaves are narrower. Pinkish flowers appear in tassel-like inflorescences above the foliage in September, gradually turning into beige plumes as the seeds mature. The foliage turns yellowish after frost, but quickly fades to straw-beige by winter. Flower plumes persist well into winter, providing good winter interest. It can be planted with annuals to provide stature and variety of texture. It looks particularly good when planted with large-leafed perennials for contrast.

Where: This adaptable grass is easy to grow in full sun with, but in sandy sites regular summer watering may be necessary to keep this perennial from withering. Plants in other soil conditions only need occasional watering during dry weather.

Size: This dwarf maiden grass grows to be 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide when mature.

Care: Avoid excessive fertilizer and shade, or the plant can become floppy in late summer. Allow it to stand into the winter as long as the grass looks good. Once it is not longer attractive, cut it to the ground.

— Richie Steffen, Great Plant Picks

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