Grass on fire

There's a beacon in my garden right now. It's large, it's colorful, and it is shining so brightly -- especially on an overcast day.


Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus' is my oldest, biggest ornamental grass, and I can't keep my eyes off of it today.

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This was one of the first perennials I planted, and it's been a mature specimen for several years. Perhaps it changes colors like this every year, but I don't remember it being so vibrant in previous years -- it seems to have a lot more red in it this year.

This is what it looks like today from the "front" (the south):


This is it from the "back" (the north):


It's virtually glowing, no matter which side it's viewed from! It's about 6' (1.8m) tall, and maybe 8' (2.4m) wide, so it's quite substantial. Impossible to miss it.

From anywhere behind the house you can see it, and even a glimpse will make you turn your head:



The flowers ("inflorescences" is the correct term) have emerged, but most haven't turned "fluffy" yet:


They do add a some nice dark accents to the overall look though:


I'm not a big fan of Miscanthus seed heads, at least until later in the winter when they fluff and curl. When they're still fresh like this, I just don't like them too much. (Some grasses have really attractive inflorescences -- Miscanthus does not in my opinion.)

This other Miscanthus ('Morning Light') isn't showing the same colors, and in fact seems to be what the 'Gracillimus' looks like most years from what I can remember:



Not nearly the same amount of red, although it looks quite nice with the bamboos around it. Maybe the reds will show up in a day or two?

In any case, this 'Gracillimus' is a beautiful grass that is particularly pretty right now:


There seems to be an endless supply of color in my garden this autumn, even after all of the trees are barren. It must be the mild temperatures. I'm certainly not complaining!

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Gerhard Bock  – (November 27, 2011 at 12:07 PM)  

The color is stunning indeed. My larger miscanthus look duller than that. Only my 'Hameln' is as beautiful as yours, but much smaller. I hope your people will make even more people realize how attractive grasses are in the winter.

:: Bamboo and More ::

Christine @ the Gardening Blog  – (November 27, 2011 at 5:49 PM)  

This is an absolute stunner!! *dreaming of the day my new Miscanthus look like this*.

scottweberpdx  – (November 30, 2011 at 9:07 PM)  

That is absolutely glorious! I've been seeing those around town this fall...and they also seem to be exhibiting more orange and red than I remember previously...gorgeous, whatever the reason!

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