About this cultivar:
Hakonechloa macra is the simple species of one of the finest ornamental grasses, but it is also one of the slowest growing. It makes a graceful mound of green ( I need to get a photo!). After several years, a border of this beauty is a crowd stopper! Looks great in autumn and winter when the leaves dry out. ALSO makes a lovely swish-swish sound in the wind!
- Position: Full sun, partial shade
- Soil: Almost any soil, grows well in Ballyrobert
- Flowers: August, September, October
- Other features: Grows well in Ballyrobert, Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit (RHS AGM), Interesting Foliage or Fruit
- Hardiness: Fully hardy - grows well in Ballyrobert! H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20°C)
- Habit: Clump forming, tufted
- Foliage: Deciduous
- Height: 30 - 45 cm (1 - 1.5 ft)
Spread: 30 - 45 cm (1 - 1.5 ft)
- Time to full growth: 5 to 10 years
- Plant type: Herbaceous Perennial, Grass like
- Colour: Green
- Goes well with: -
About this genus:
Hackonechloa is synonymous with Hakonechloa macra (Japanese forest grass, hakone grass). Why? becauset is the only species in the genus Hakonechloa. It is a species of flowering plant in the true-grass family (Poaceae) native to Japan. It and its cultivars are used as foliage plants in gardens in temperate climates.
It is a small, mostly shade-loving, clump-forming, slowly spreading plant. We grow it in a wide variety of situations both dry and wet. Even though it is often thought of as a shade plant in our garden at Ballyrobert we have a large clump growing in a bath with Actaea (another 'shade' plant!) in the middle of our yard! As long as it doesn't dry out I don't think our part of the world has enough 'full-sun' to qualify as 'horticultural full sun'.
The stalks of Hakonechloa cascade in a graceful rounded fountain shape somewhat reminiscent of Pennisetum (fountain grass) but with the actual foliage resembling Chasmanthium (The flowers are NOT similar). These grasses are notable for their texture and their colours as well as their general ease of maintenance. The leaves are thin and papery and make a distinctive rustling sound when the wind blows that adds to their appeal in the garden.The papery texture keeps the foliage cool to the touch and often the surface is slightly puckered or rippled - these are great place to run your hands through! The leaf blades are often green but many colour variations exist; they may be boldly variegated in stripes of white, green, or yellow, or have solid coloured leaves. Some cultivars tend to turn orange or red in colder weather as autumn approaches.