Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'

Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’           Family: Poaceae
(hak-on-eh-KLO-ah  MAK-rah  aw-ree OH-lah)

Common name: golden Japanese forest grass
Zone: 5 – 8
Height: 18 – 24 in (45-60 cm)
Spread: 18 – 24 in (45-60 cm)
Aspect: full sun; partial shade
Soil: moist; fertile; well-draining

Description: An herbaceous perennial with slowly spreading, mounding habit. Boasts brightly variegated foliage, gold with green stripes near leaf margins, on deep purple stems. Open panicles of reddish-brown flower spikes may appear in early autumn through winter but not here in our Zone 7a garden.


Special Notes: Native to Japan. Slow growing, often taking 3 years to form a nice clump, but well worth the wait. Gold colour of foliage will fade to lime-green if sited in deeper shade. Good autumn colour; leaves age to reddish-brown. Propagate by division in spring or autumn.


Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit 1993
Great Plant Pick 2002
   (Outstanding plant for the Pacific Northwest)


In our Zone 7a garden: This is a favourite plant although we have yet to see any flower spikes on even our well-established plants. If sited in full sun, Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ bleaches out in the heat of the summer. Provided with some shade, the leaf blades retain their golden colour better. Plant in full shade and the leaves will lean more towards a lime-green colour.


Posted on August 13, 2012; updated April 27, 2022