Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’ (Zebra Grass)

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’ on 8-12-12, #115-71.

Zebra Grass

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’

miss-KANTH-us sy-NEN-sis


Synonyms of Miscanthus sinensis (36) (Updated on 12-10-21):  Erianthus japonicus (Thunb.) P.Beauv., Eulalia japonica (Thunb.) Trin., Miscanthus boninensis Nakai ex Honda, Miscanthus chejuensis Y.N.Lee, Miscanthus condensatus Hack., Miscanthus condensatus var. purpurascens Y.N.Lee, Miscanthus condensatus f. purpurascens (Y.N.Lee) M.Kim, Miscanthus coreensis Hack., Miscanthus flavidus Honda, Miscanthus hidakanus Honda, Miscanthus ionandros Nakai, Miscanthus kanehirae Honda, Miscanthus kokusanensis Nakai & Honda, Miscanthus littoralis Honda, Miscanthus matsudae Honda, Miscanthus miser Nakai ex Honda, Miscanthus nakaianus Honda, Miscanthus neocoreanus Honda, Miscanthus purpurascens Andersson, Miscanthus pycnocephalus Honda, Miscanthus sinensis f. albiflorus (Y.N.Lee) M.Kim, Miscanthus sinensis var. albiflorus Y.N.Lee, Miscanthus sinensis f. chejuensis (Y.N.Lee) M.Kim, Miscanthus sinensis var. chejuensis (Y.N.Lee) Y.N.Lee, Miscanthus sinensis subsp. condensatus (Hack.) T.Koyama, Miscanthus sinensis subsp. purpurascens (Andersson) Tzvelev, Miscanthus sinensis var. variegatus Beal, Miscanthus sinensis f. viridis (Y.N.Lee) M.Kim, Miscanthus sinensis var. viridis Y.N.Lee, Miscanthus transmorrisonensis Hayata, Miscanthus zebrinus (Van Geert) Nakai ex Matsum., Ripidium japonicum (Thunb.) Trin., Saccharum japonicum Thunb., Saccharum roseum Reinw. ex Miq., Xiphagrostis condensatus (Hack.) W.Wight, Xiphagrostis japonica (Thunb.) Coville

Miscanthus sinensis Andersson is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Miscanthus. Both the genus AND species were named and described as such by Nils Johan Andersson in Öfversigt af Kongliga Vetenskaps-Akademiens Förhandlingar (Stockholm) in 1855. 

As of 12-9-21 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 13 species in the Miscanthus genus. It is a member of the plant family Poaceae with 778 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.

I bought my Zebra Grass from the discount rack at Lowe’s in August 2012 in Greenville, Mississippi. Since I moved back to the family farm in mid-Missouri in February 2013 and didn’t bring it with me, I don’t have much experience with this grass. I did like the yellow banding on the leaves, which is why I bought it. Not all the leaves had this coloration.

Common Names: Zebra Grass.
Family: Poacea.
Origin: Japan, Korea, and China.
Zones: USDA Zones 5a-9b (-20 to 25 °F).
Size: 4-7 feet tall.
Light: Full sun to part shade. Plants may flop in too much shade.
Soil: Average well-drained soil.
Leaves: Green leaves with yellow bands.
Flowers: Pinkish-white.
Water: Medium, drought tolerant but prefers moist soil.
Propagation: Plants spread by rhizomes and can easily be divided.

This grass spreads by short rhizomes which makes a nice clump. It has escaped gardens and has naturalized in 25 states. The stems of the species grow upward and will make an attractive fountain-like appearance. This cultivar, however, may take on a rounded shape. Other cultivars stand better. Leaves turn yellow to orange in the fall then tan for winter attraction. The flowers and leaves retain their fountain-like shape over winter.

There are no significant problems except for Miscanthus mealybug and Miscanthus blight in some parts of the country.

There are several good cultivars available with different features. I have not grown many ornamental grasses on the farm but I hope to try a few more. If I find this one again, I will bring one home.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.


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