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Common Name:

Chinese Silver Grass

Scientific Name:

Miscanthus sinensis

Family Name:

Graminae (Poaceae)


Miscanthus sinensis is perhaps the most versatile species of perennial ornamental grasses used in the United States. Significant variation exists within the species resulting in cultivars of various sizes, textures, and foliage colors. Most have attractive plumes of off-white flowers in summer, which remain effective into early winter.

Plant Habit or Use:

Perennial, grasses


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

Off-white, somewhat loose panicle

Blooming Period:

Summer, fall

Fruit Characteristics:

Persistent, attractive


18 inch to 5 ft (8 ft possible rarely)


1 ft to 3 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: Medium Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Excellent perennial grass with few problems, although the recently introduced miscanthus mealybug bears monitoring.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.