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Posts Tagged ‘Giant maiden grass’

tall3

Here’s Remy, sitting by the Giant Maiden Grass (Miscanthus giganteus). Remy is about 18 inches tall. The Giant Maiden Grass is 9 feet! In June, the garden is dominated by the Giant Fleeceflower (Persicaria polymorphus), which I wrote about in a post entitled Another Summer in the Garden, linked here. But by July, it has been overtaken by other high-risers now hitting their stride. Foremost amongst these is this huge grass, and it isn’t done yet. It has its seed stalks to top off its nine feet still to come. I purchased this grass in the fall of 2010, so this is just its second summer in the garden. You can see how it looked that first fall in my post Tucked Into Bed. It’s sure come a long way since then!

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Just down from the Giant Maiden Grass is this Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum). It’s a native of eastern North America. It is topping out this year at 7 1/2 feet as it starts blooming. The large leaves are fused in pairs with the leaf opposite, embracing the interesting square stalk, giving the impression of the plant stalk perforating the leaves. The leaves form a little cup that captures rain water and gives the plant its common name.

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Coming in at a mere 6 feet, the Giant Coneflower (Rudbeckia maxima) falls far short of some of its neighbours, but it is a very cool plant. When I first saw this rudbeckia, a member of the black-eyed susan family, in a nursery, I thought it had been mislabelled. It sure doesn’t look like other black-eyed susans.

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Its large, glaucous leaves are nothing like typical rudbeckia leaves. Maxima is native to the southern states, but has so far been hardy here in Eastern Ontario. This is its third year in the garden. It’s flowers, held high on long, stately stems, are quite attractive. This one has attracted a little white crab spider.

rudbeckia

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grassbed

I thoroughly enjoyed the ornamental grasses in my garden this fall. So much so that when I came across a selection of grasses that had been marked down for ‘end-of-season’ sale, I took advantage of the great prices and picked up another six varieties. Because the gardening season is nearly finished here, I just tucked them into an open space near the house. It should be a nice, protected spot for them to overwinter and then next spring I will relocate them to a permanent home.

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Miscanthus gigantus

Grasses don’t look like much when they’re just potted-up youngsters, a few wispy blades. You’d never guess that the Giant Maiden Grass (Miscanthus gigantus), above, has the potential to grow into a big, sturdy clump standing up to 12 feet tall!

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Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus'

Here is another miscanthus, Zebra Grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’), which has interesting striped foliage. It gets to be 5 or 6 feet tall and makes an interesting accent.

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Pennisetum Alopecuroides 'Moudry'

I also purchased three fountain grass varieties. These are more compact plants than the two miscanthus varieties above. Black-flowering Fountain Grass (Pennisetum Alopecuroides ‘Moudry’) forms a compact clump 2 to 3 feet tall and produces interesting dark seedheads. The latin name, pennisetum, translates as “feather bristle”, referring to the bristly structures surrounding the flowers on the inflorescence.

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Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Redhead'

The bristles referred to in the name show up well in the above photograph of Redhead Fountain Grass (Pennisetum Alopecuroides ‘Redhead’).

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Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Piglet'

The third fountain grass I picked up is Piglet (Pennisetum Alopecuroides ‘Piglet‘). It forms a neat little clump that grows to about 18 inches tall. What’s not to love about a grass called Piglet?

The grasses I currently have in my garden are native to North America, while these new additions are imports. I did get one more native grass to add to my collection, however, Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium). Its seedheads are very different from the plumes of miscanthus or stems of pennisetum. The geometrical-shaped seed pods hang on gracefully arching stems. I look forward to seeing all the grasses next spring. Sleep tight!

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Chasmanthium latifolium

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