Miscanthus sinensis ‘Variegatus’, commonly known as Chinese Silver Grass, is a member of the Poaceae group of grasses that can be seen growing in Exeter College’s front quad. Miscanthus is a varied family of ornamental grasses, which can be deciduous or evergreen. ‘Variegatus’ is a deciduous clump-forming type, growing to around two metres tall. It has narrow, arching, white-striped leaves, and forms reddish flower heads in early autumn which can often last through in to the winter. It’s ideal for use in a mixed border, in a country-style garden, or alternatively as a semi-architectural plant in a city-style garden.
It likes a reasonably sunny spot, but is also happy in partial shade. Likewise it will do best with some shelter but can tolerate an exposed site. The plant does well in moist but well-drained soil, and will not tolerate sitting in wet soil during the winter. It originally comes from Japan, Korea and China.