Miscanthus sinensis var. condensatus 'Cosmopolitan'
Miscanthus sinensis var. condensatus ‘Cosmopolitan’
(mis-KAN-thus sih-NEN-sis var. kon-den-SAY-tus)
Family: Poaceae
Common name: variegated miscanthus; maiden grass; Japanese silver grass
Zone: 5 – 9
Height: 6-8 ft (1.8-2.4 m) Spread: 4-5 ft (1.2-1.5 m)
Aspect: full sun; partial shade
Soil: fertile; well-draining
Water: moderate

Description: An evergreen perennial with a vase-like, clump-forming habit. Robust green leaves have creamy white mid-ribs. Long silky, fan-shaped flower tassels appear in the autumn.

Special Notes: Native to Japan. Growing season in Zone 5 – 7 is not long enough for tassels to form. Good winter interest. Good cut flower and attractive in dried arrangements. Cut plant back to 8 – 12 inches (20 – 30 cm) in early spring to allow new growth to appear. Do not cut back too early; you want to protect the plant from crown rot. Propagate by division in spring or autumn.


RHS Award of Garden Merit 2001; Great Plant Pick 2012


In our Zone 7a garden: This is a grass that John just had to have for his landscape design and I must say it is a stellar performer in our garden for the height it attains. Makes a wonderful screen and a lovely backdrop for some smaller specimens planted at its feet. However, you must be patient. This is definitely a late season grass so here in our garden it never starts poking its leaf blades out of the ground with any vigour until well into June. The first couple of years we had ‘Cosmopolitan’, John was sure he had lost it to winter kill because it was so late to re-appear. Sure enough, it popped up.

Exciting news in 2014! We finally got our first inflorescences on our ‘Cosmopolitan’ plants this summer…thanks to the fantastically long stretch of hot, dry weather.


Posted on December 4, 2014