Japanese Forest Grass or Hakone Grass (Hakonechloa macra)
May 2, 2020 | PLANT SPOTLIGHT
This grass is native to central Japan. It grows 1 to 1.5 feet wide with a similar height. Hakonechloa spreads by runners, but is not considered invasive. Appropriate for USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9.
Flowers: Flowers appear in mid to late summer and are green and airy.
Fall Foliage: Attractive orange color adds to the fall landscape. The dried stalks create winter interest when left standing and the thin, papery leaves rustle in the wind.
Ecological Value: Provides cover for small wildlife.
Cultural Uses: This popular low maintenance ornamental grass prefers part shade and can tolerate moist soil conditions. This gracefully arching grass adds movement and texture to a border and can serve as an attractive taller groundcover for shady spots. Some very popular cultivars include the variegated ‘Aureola’ and the slightly more compact yellow-green leaved ‘All Gold.’
Scientific Name: The name of this grass is derived from the town of Hakone in the Kanagawa Prefecture. The specific epithet macra means large.
Location at Pittsburgh Botanic Garden: Japanese Garden and Celebration Garden.