Miscanthus sinensis

Common name: Chinese Silver Grass (Chinaschilf)

Miscanthus on a windy day

The sound of the wind rushing through these grasses always impresses me. It’s so… so…… loud! This Miscanthus is a real giant and has outdone itself this year at an estimated 3 metres. AND it’s flowering, which doesn’t happen every year in my garden. Mine flowers every second year usually, but I have no idea if this is normal or just dependent on the weather. I have never watered it – even in very dry summers – and it has always grown to a magnificent height.

Miscanthus flowers

This grass is also known as “Elephant Grass” and has recently been grown (on a small scale) near us for producing pellets for heating. It took a couple of years to get established, but is now flourishing (see below). However, I have heard that in some regions it has become invasive. (Fortunately my clump shows no signs of spreading!)

Elephant grass

Due to snow and wind I have to trim mine in the late autumn before bits get blown all over the garden or before it gets flattened or broken by the weight of snow and ice. But I can enjoy the neighbour’s fieldful at the bottom of our garden all winter, as he hasn’t started harvesting yet!

Miscanthus field

This kestrel accompanied me on my early walk to photograph the grasses this morning…

Miscanthus and kestrel