Giant striped eulalia grass makes a statement in dry garden

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum Durable Delights, 30 can’t-fail, easy-care plants well adapted to our region.

Giant striped eulalia grass

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Cosmopolitan’

Size: Up to 8 feet tall.

Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.

Bloom season: Late summer, fall.

Pruning needs: Little or none; cut down to the ground in winter to renew.

Water needs: After established, water deeply every one to two weeks.

Snapshot: Considered among the royalty of the grass kingdom, this large miscanthus is a good substitute for invasive pampas grass. And this grass only needs to be mowed once a year. Also called Silver Feather, this stately grass with variegated leaves can be a major focal point in the dry garden. It creates a large statement near entryways or at the back of the border. Cream-striped leaves emerge in spring and quickly grow to 6 to 8 feet. In late summer, they’re topped with bronze tassel-like flowers that toss in the wind. Its graceful foliage and plumelike flowers look like a living fountain, cascading above shorter plants. You can see examples at the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery on the UC Davis campus.

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