A Guide to Japanese Silver Grass

Japanese Silver Grass grows quickly and looks fantastic all year.

The Japanese silver grass plant (Miscanthus sinensis) usually produces a feathery, whitish-gray inflorescence that is the source of the name. There are also pink and reddish flowering varieties.

This ornamental grass is commonly known by many names but remains one of the most popular varieties of ornamental grasses. Silver green foliage pops out in early spring into a vase-like shape with many different markings depending on the cultivar. Feathery plumed heads appear in late summer to early fall. With so many to choose from, including some dwarf varieties, it will be a simple task to find one suited to your outdoor space. Some of the most popular are listed below.

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A dwarf cultivar and is one of the shortest of varieties. This maiden grass is perfect for smaller gardens as it only grows 3’-4’ tall. An upright, warm season grass features very slim, silver gray blades.

Morning Light

Enjoys an exquisite vase shape that stands out beautifully in the garden. Variegated, very narrow, finely textured leaves have a silvery green appearance & glow when backlit by the sun.


An outstanding cultivar known for its tall, variegated, luminous foliage with creamy white margins and pale green centres turns golden yellow in fall before fading to a straw beige in winter.


Typically grow to a height of 4’-5’ tall, it is considered a compact grass. A warm season grass with a narrow upright habit. Thin, green blades turn a reddish-brown in fall with pinkish flowers in summer


Very similar to Variegatus but the dwarf version. The same light green & white variegated appearance but is much shorter in stature. Very showy silky pink plumes present in late summer.


An abundance of copper and burgundy plumes that mature to fluffy ivory seedheads in fall rise above arching blades of deep green that become deep purple with red highlights. Moderate growth rate.


This is a grass of monstrous proportions, forming very tall clumps of green leaves, their tips arching gracefully in layers. Bears soft-pink plumes in the fall. The corn-like stalks turn tan in winter.


Foliage emerges green, with red accents that deepen throughout summer, topped by silver-pink plumes in late summer. Fall brings a fiery orange-red color to foliage, turning burgundy by winter.


A spectacular warm season ornamental grass grown for its abundant, purple flushed flower plumes on display in late summer changing to silver as they mature & provide excellent winter interest.


Silver Feather in English, this impressive grass features dainty plumes of coral-pink flowers rising above the foliage in late summer. Showy plumes displayed in abundance from early fall to late winter.


Narrow green leaves form a large, arching mound of foliage which ultimately turns an orangey-red in fall. Tiny white flowers appear in late summer & turn into silvery white plumes as it ages.


Porcupine Grass is very distinctive with its variegated foliage displaying unusual, horizontal, soft yellow rings along the gracefully upward arching leaves giving it a rounded, fountain-like appearance.

Huron Sunrise

Masses of beautiful burgundy flowered plumes rise above the foliage from late summer to early fall. Grassy leaves are green in colour with pointy silver spines turning tan in fall.


Variegated Silver Grass features bold plumes of rose flowers rising above the foliage in late summer. Attractive grassy leaves are green in colour with showy tan variegation. Often turns yellow in fall.

Little Zebra

This excellent dwarf variety has a pleasing, compact mounded habit; interesting foliage is banded in yellow. Reddish, fan shaped plumes mature to a creamy tan color in winter. Grows to 3’.


Popular Zebra Grass grows to a height of 5’. Bold plumes of coppery-bronze flowers rising above the foliage in late summer. Attractive leaves are bluish-green in colour with showy yellow variegation.

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