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Miscanthus sinensis 'Strictus'

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Kemper Code:  E260

Common Name: eulalia
Zone: 5 to 9
Plant Type: Ornamental grass
Family: Poaceae
Missouri Native: No
Native Range: None
Height: 4 to 9 feet
Spread: 2 to 6 feet
Bloom Time: August - February   Bloom Data
Bloom Color: Reddish-brown
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low

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Plant Culture and Characteristics

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Where is this species invasive in the US?

Alternatives for the Lower Midwest:
prairie dropseed, Sporobolus heterolepis
little bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium
big blue stem, Andropogon gerardii
  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of a wide range of soils from well-drained sandy soils to the heavy clays present in much of the St. Louis area. Prefers moist soils, but will also tolerate wet soils including shallow water. Best in full sun. Less vigorous with decreased flowering and tendency to flop in too much shade. Tolerant of summer heat and humidity. Clumps slowly expand in circumference by short rhizomes, but retain tight clump shape. Foliage should be left standing throughout the winter for visual interest and to provide protection for the crowns. Cut foliage to the ground in late winter just before new shoots appear.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

'Strictus', commonly known as porcupine grass, is noted for its horizontally banded foliage and upright, columnar habit in which the erect leaf blades purportedly resemble porcupine quills. It typically grows in an upright clump to 5-6' tall with the flower plumes raising total overall height to 8-9' tall. Features medium green leaves variegated with yellow horizontal bands. Foliage fades to tan after frost. Tiny reddish-bronze flowers appear in tassel-like inflorescences which rise well above the foliage in late summer, gradually turning into silvery plumes in fall. Flower plumes persist well into winter providing good winter interest. 'Strictus' is very similar in appearance to M. s. 'Zebrinus', except 'Zebrinus' foliage is arching and tends to flop more, often requiring staking or other support.


No frequently occurring insect or disease problems. In some areas of the U.S., miscanthus mealybug and miscanthus blight are becoming significant problems. Miscanthus mealybug causes stunted growth and is difficult to eradicate because it lives inside the stems. Miscanthus blight is a fungal disease which attacks the blades and sheaths. Although 'Strictus' forms substantial clumps, it usually does not need staking or other support.


Versatile ornamental grass which needs a large space. Particularly good accent or specimen. Also effective in groups, massed or as a screen. Borders, meadows, wild gardens, cottage gardens, naturalized areas, pond edges or water gardens.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011

More photos:
Photo: Walters Gardens, Inc.
High resolution image available.
Photo: Walters Gardens, Inc.
High resolution image available.