Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Miscanthus Giganteus Ornamental Grass at Lovegrass Farm on P.E.I.

Miscanthus Giganteus
Miscanthus Giganteus is a Magnificent Screening Plant, similar to Bamboo in appearance, but spreads slowly to form a large clump.  It makes an excellent wind break that, due to the flexibility of its growth actually filters or breaks up the wind unlike rigid physical barriers.  Giganteus makes a great natural alternative to a fence, rustling in the wind and providing shelter for wildlife.

Miscanthus Giganteus in August

Growing 9 to 10 ft. or 3 m. tall with deep green leaves 1 in. or 25 mm wide it can lend a tropical look to a garden.  Use it as a specimen, to create privacy or to block an undesirable view on city or town lots.  Make a Secret Garden by planting seven plants in the shape of a C with a 15 ft. diameter.  Giganteus does best in Full Sun, tolerates salty and coastal conditions making it ideal for Seaside Gardens.  It rarely flowers in our northern climate and trials have confirmed that its' seeds are sterile and the plant can only be established by division of its' roots.

Giganteus in September
Miscanthus Giganteus is being used commercially in the UK and Europe for energy production as a biofuel.  It is an environmentally friendly crop; it is a C4 plant which has a high photosynthesis efficiency.   Once planted Giganteus requires 2 - 3 years to reach full size.  It will continue to enlarge slowly but keep in mind that it will grow a large root system and be difficult to remove if you change your mind in a few years. 

Giganteus in October

Miscanthus Giganteus in March
The lower leaves turn a tan color later in the season.  You can pull off the culms by grabbing hold of the leaves and pull straight down; the revealed stems are very attractive.  If you find that it doesn't provide  a complete visual barrier you could plant another grass in front.  Cool season grasses like Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster' would also give you a shorter screen in early summer until the Giant Grass takes off with the heat in July.  Miscanthus Giganteus remains upright all winter, even with heavy snow.  Easy to care for and drought tolerant once established, you only need to cut it back in the Spring.  We save the dry stalks and are attempting to make fences with them; we'll show photos later.  They could be used around your garden much as you would use small bamboo stakes.  The larger stems could be cut in pieces and used to make Mason Bee Houses.  The possibilities are Endless!

1 comment:

  1. Oh..I just luv this grass...stunning winter display. I am coming to see you Paulette, every post you write makes me plan more..
    Smiles, Brenda