COMMON NAME

Eulalia
Chinese silvergrass
miscanthus


FULL SCIENTIFIC NAME

Miscanthus sinensis Anderss.


FAMILY NAME COMMON

Grass family


FAMILY SCIENTIFIC NAME

Miscanthus sinensis


IMAGES


Incursion

Inflorescence

Dehiscing seeds

Planting of Miscanthus

Roots

NOMENCLATURE/SYNONYMS

Synonyms: None


DESCRIPTION

Botanical Glossary

Miscanthus sinensis is a highly variable robust perennial grass that can grow to 2-3 m (6.5-10 ft.) in height. It is usually found in large tufts. The branches are very flexible and spread or droop. The leaves are elongate and can measure 1 m (3 ft.) in length and 2.5 cm (1 in.) in width. The leaves have a silver white midrib. The tips of the leaves are sharp and recurving. The fan-shaped terminal panicle is 15-61 cm (6-24 in.) long and can be silvery to pale pink in color. The branches of the panicle are erect or ascending. These panicles reach full maturity in the fall. The glabrous spikelets are very small, yellow-brown in color and encircled at the base with white or purple-colored hairs. The lemmas measure 2-3 mm (0.1 in.) long. Each fertile lemma bears an awn that is 8-10 mm long and is spirally twisted at its base. *There are a wide variety of cultivars of this plant which may not fit this exact description. Page References Bailey 155, Fernald 228, Gleason & Cronquist 814, Holmgren 771, Magee & Ahles 191. See reference section below for full citations.


SIMILAR SPECIES

None


REPRODUCTIVE/DISPERSAL MECHANISMS

Miscanthus sinensis has the ability to reproduce vegetatively via rhizomes. It can also be dispersed longer distances through its mechanically or wind-dispersed seeds. Though some of the horticultural varieties do not self-seed, many of them still have this ability.


DISTRIBUTION

Miscanthus sinensis is native to China, Japan and Korea. In the United States it has been reported from Massachusetts to Florida and west to Louisiana and Missouri, as well as from California and Colorado. In New England this plant has been reported in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.


HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION IN NEW ENGLAND

Miscanthus sinensis is a horticultural introduction that has the ability to naturalize from its original site of planting. Though the exact first date of introduction into this country is unknown, more than 50 cultivars of M. sinensis have been introduced since 1980.


HABITATS IN NEW ENGLAND

Coastal Grassland, Edge, Open Disturbed Area, Roadside, Vacant Lot, Yard or Garden

Miscanthus sinensis depends on disturbance to become established. It is usually found along the edges of roads and woods.


THREATS

The invasiveness of this plant is still being assessed, but it does have the ability to form large clumps that can displace native species.


DOCUMENTATION NEEDS

Documentation required: A specific photograph or mounted snippet of the leaves and inflorescences.
Best time for documentation: Fall.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

www.invasive.org
Description, images, and links

Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Taxonomic information

PLANTS Database
General information and map


REFERENCES

Bailey, L. H.  1949.  Manual of Cultivated Plants.  Macmillan, New York.

Britton, N. L. and A. Brown.  1970.  An Illustrated Flora of the Northeastern United States vol. 1.  Dover Publications Inc., New York. 

Bullard, M.J., M.C. Heath, P.M.I. Nixon. 1995. Shoot growth, radiation interception and dry-matter production and partitioninag during the establishment phase of Miscanthus sinensis giganteus grown at 2 densities in the UK. Annals of Applied Biology 126 (2): 365-378.

Dalton, P. 1996. Miscanthus sinensis, p.89. In Randall, J.M. and J. Marinelli. [eds.].  Invasive Plants: Weeds of the Global Garden. Brooklyn Botanic Garden Inc., New York.

Fernald, M.L. 1950. Gray's Manual of Botany 8th ed. American Book Co., Boston.

Gleason H.A. and A.C. Cronquist.  1991.  Manual of Vascular Plants of the Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. 2nd ed.  New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Hayashi, I. 1994. Experimental community ecology in Miscanthus sinensis grassland - change of species composition according to mowing frequency. Japanese Journal of Ecology 44(2): 161-170.

Holmgren N.H. 1998. Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual.  New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Holm,L.G., J.V. Pancho, J.P. Herberger, D.L. Plucknett. 1979. A Geographical Atlas of World Weeds. John Wiley and Sons, New York.

Magee D.W and H.E. Ahles. 1999.  Flora of the Northeast. University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst.

Meyer, M.H. and C.L. Tchida.  1999.  Miscanthus Anderss. Produces viable seed in four USDA hardiness zones.  Journal of Environmental Horticulture 17(3): 137-140.

Nishiwaki, A., K. Sugawara, I. Ito. 1996. The effect of cattle grazing on seed production in Miscanthus sinensis Anderss. . Grassland Science 42(1): 47-51.

Randall, J.M. and J. Marinelli (eds). 1996. Invasive Plants, Weeds of the Global Garden. Brooklyn Botanic Garden Publications, USA

Tang, Y.H. and I. Washitani. 1995. Characteristics of small-scale heterogeneity in light availability within a Miscanthus sinensis canopy. Ecological Research 10 (2): 189-197.

USDA, NRCS.  2001.  The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1. (http://plants.usda.gov).  National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.