Plant Profile: Ornamental Grass, Hakonechloa macra

Hakonechloa grass at top left, with brunnera and hostas.

Hakonechloa grass at top left, with brunnera and hostas.

Ornamental grasses are fantastic low maintenance plants, but most need full sun. For bright garden colour in the shade, hakonechloa grass, also called Japanese Forest Grass is an absolute winner. It’s one of the few ornamental grasses that will grow in partial shade. Its graceful, curving, linear form adds texture and movement to the garden.

The luminous, yellow- striped leaved Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ was voted Perennial Plant of the Year for 2009 by the Perennial Plant Association, and there’s room for it in any garden. It blends beautifully with hostas and other shade tolerant plants. Who needs flowers when foliage looks this good? Hakonechloa mounds up to about a foot high and spreads about fifteen inches wide when mature. It adds an elegant and restful feel to your shady garden.

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