Kurt Bluemel, Inc.

Miscanthus x giganteus

Miscanthus x giganteus

Like many other truly interesting plants, Miscanthus x giganteus has a fascinating, but poorly documented migration history. It is however, confirmed that the Danish Botanist Axel Olsen brought it from Yokohama, Japan to Europe in the 1930’s. It is also certain that Kurt Bluemel introduced the Miscanthus x giganteus to the United States in 1960 from an original clump he found growing in Switzerland. It has always been a handsome addition to any landscape no matter its history. Most recently, its has achieved notoriety for its biomass and bio-fuel benefits studied on campuses and laboratories world-wide. Empirically, the contributions of the M. x giganteus to the American landscape are both aesthetic and scientific.

The initial allure of the M.x giganteus is its uniquely massive characteristic. It will produce a dense mass of foliage within two (2) seasons of planting at 30”-36” wide reaching heights of 8-12’ feet as a handsome mature plant. It is a strong grower, but not invasive as the plant is sterile. Its spread is rhizomatous.

M. x giganteus is easy to grow in moist but, well-drained soil and should prove hardy in zones 4-11. It will adapt to most soils but will reach its full potential in the optimum soil conditions described above. It is a strongly rooted grass that clumps handsomely. If you cut them back (or burn-back large crops) they will faithfully produce dramatic waterfalls of lush green leaves by the next season.

Miscanthus giganteus is most successful when planted 4' feet on center. For example, a one acre site (44,000 sq. feet) would need approximately 2,700 rhizomes. This measure of planting will lend itself to a 'corn field' type of row planting within two season's growth. This design would make it possible to move around the crop easily for hand-work or machinery for harvesting.

a macro photo of the eye of Miscanthus giganteus.

Five (5) 1-2 eyed rhizomes of Misanthus giganteus.

photo of a single rhizome of Miscanthus giganteus.