Miscanthus sacchariflorus

Miscanthus sacchariflorus

Common Names

Chinese silvergrass, ogi (in Japan), miscanthus, often regionally called pampas grass.

Miscanthus sacchariflorus is another escaped species that differs from M. sinensis, due to its large, very vigorous, conspicuous rhizomes. This species has limited ornamental value and is not as common in the nursery trade. M. sacchariflorus usually sets very little seed although it has escaped in several counties in Iowa and in limited locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Flower Description

In addition to aggressive rhizomes, M. sacchariflorus has softer, white flowers that form earlier, usually in August, and fall apart (disarticulate) by December. The small flowers, or spikelets do not have an awn, and the hairs surrounding the spikelet are much longer than the spikelet. These hairs are soft and silky white, not beige, red, or pink as in M. sinensis.

M. sacchariflorus prefers wet sites, such as roadside ditches and along streams or ponds. The species' means of spreading is through persistent rhizomes; most plants in the Midwest do not usually have viable seed. This species is very hardy and can be found as far north as USDA Zone 2.

M. sacchariflorus is not as invasive as M. sinensis. Old mature clumps persist because of the rhizomes, but with almost no viable seed. M. sacchariflorus spreads little beyond its current location. Repeated mowing throughout the summer is a good control for this species of Miscanthus. Also, use chemical control as listed in the management section of this website.