Saccharum alopecuroides

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Plant types and subtypes: Grasses, Ornamental Grasses

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: low

Soil Moisture: dry, moist

Soil Description: average, poor, clay, sand

Height: 5'-9'

Bloom Time: August, September

Bloom Color: white

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Additional Tags: clumping, cut flowers, drought tolerant, fall interest, hedging plant, ornamental foliage

Saccharum alopecuroides

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Description

Saccharum alopecuroides

Also known as:

silver plumegrass

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Scientific Synonyms:

Erianthus alopecuroides, Erianthus alopecuroides var. hirsutis, Erianthus divaricatus, Erianthus tracyi, Saccharum alopecuroidum

Description

Saccharum alopecuroides is a large, dense, robust ornamental grass. The leaf blades are reed-like, arching, 3/4" wide and 3' long or more. It has a clumping habit and produces several rigid culms, reaching a height of 9', that are topped with foot-long, silvery-white, feathery inflorescences that persist well into winter.

Cultivation

Silver plumegrass is well adapted to lean well-drained soils that are moist to dry. Overly fertile soil, or too much shade, can produce weak plants that require staking. This is a very showy species whose plume-like panicles emerge late summer and provide strong visual interest through fall and beyond. It is beautiful grown as a specimen, but due to its dense tall form can also be used effectively as a hedging plant or privacy screen. It should be cut back late winter before the new growth emerges. Zones 5-9

Propagation

Propagate from seed. No treatment is required.

Additional Notes

Saccharum alopecuroides is an excellent alternative to the over-utilized, and often invasive, introduced species of Miscanthus.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida Monocotyledons
Subclass Commelinidae
Order Cyperales
Family Poaceae Grass family
Genus Saccharum sugarcane
Species Saccharum alopecuroides silver plumegrass