Giant Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus)

December 7, 2005

I am trying to find a source for Giant Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus). This is the sterile hybrid that is non invasive and reportedly grows to 13' in height.

Anyone know of a source for rhizomes? I have not had luck googling it.



Comments (28)

  • well_rooted

    Try searching for it without the "x", just Miscanthus giganteus

  • donn_

    Poppa...Miscanthus giganteus isn't sterile, and can be grown from seed. In your zone, however, it may not have a long enough growing season to produce viable seed, and possibly not even flowers.

  • PollyNY

    Earthly Pursuits Inc., has it for $7.50. I think this would be a good price, and they seem to be a good company. I am in Zone 5 and we have quite a long bloom period with it. Polly

  • donn_

    Polly...does it set seed? If so, would you like to trade some?

  • PollyNY

    Hi Donn, gosh, I don't know, never worked with seeds of OGs. But if so, of course I would. I can't even get out there now, we have over two feet of snow, and they are quite a ways out. (We have 62 acres here). Would I be able to tell in the spring, and harvest them then? Let me know what I should do to find out. They were in bloom for about 1.5 months. Polly

  • donn_

    62 acres!! I'm green with envy.

    The seeds form in the plumes, after they start fading from their initial color. It isn't likely that any will remain through the winter. The way to tell if they're ready to harvest, is by shaking a plume gently, inside a paper bag. If the seeds fall off into the bag, they're ready.

  • poppa

    Thanks everyone... The initial article i read said this was sterile and only propagated via rhizomes. I now see that there are quite a few varieties of this cross and some might not be sterile. They never did list which variety they used in thier test. I was looking into biomass fuels and this came up as something considered to have high potential. Supposedly can generate between 20 - 30 tons / acre. It would be nice to be able to heat a green house off of renewable material.

    Seems to be some question about how hardy it is though.

    Thanks for all the info!


  • PollyNY

    Poppa, it is perfectly hardy for me, so I would expect you would have no problem. If you are wishing to purchase in quantity, try Kurt Bluemel. Even tho they are only wholesale, they might bend for large quantities. http://www.kurtbluemel.com. I did look a little on the internet, and do see some are sterile, some not, depending on the cross. It was interesting reading about using them as a renewable fuel source. I would be interested in hearing if you do somehing along this line. My husband has commented before about what a waste it is to throw away the old stems, which resemble bamboo, when we cut them in the spring. Mine were slow to grow at first, but now after four years are about 14 ft tall by fall, and each clumb is about 8 ft wide. I think they could be easily propogated into numerous clumps when young, but a large clump would be a horrendous job to divide.

    Donn, I looked back in my old catalogue from Kurt Bluemel, where I bought the plugs for Miscanthus giganteus, and it says a sterile selection. I have not had any seeding around here, so I do suspect they are sterile. However, I can't get to them this year, but I have put it on my fall calendar for next year to save you some seeds.


  • lkz5ia

    Do the stems remain to stand straight and tall throughout the winter? I was thinking if they do, they could act as a snow fence if planted in rows.

  • PollyNY

    Mine are normally one half standing by the end of winter, and I don't think would make an effective snow break.

  • jroot

    Mine stand all winter with only a few down. We are in a wind tunnel as well. I find that here, it grows to about 11 feet tall, and certainly does set flower and seed. I cut it down in early March when I get get out through the snow banks here in snowy Ontario.

  • noki

    read much different things about 'Giganteus', and I'm interested (I'm fascinated by the idea of more height)...

    how tall does it really get for you? how tall will it get this year if planted now from a typical large nursery pot (with lots of watering)?

    does it get purple- copper in fall (like the tag says), or just yellow brown mostly? does the lower part of the plant always turn brown in summer, or does watering keep it green? does the plant "shed" heavily during winter?

    is it more of an irregular spreader than the usual Miscanthus sinensis clump circle?

    I've got a 'Central Park', and it makes a beautful circular fountain with wide leaves. The grass gets almost 6'. The plumes are late and unspectacular, the grass turns yellow brown and then is very messy in the winter, have to rake around it in Jan/ Feb/ March. Should I relace it with the 'Giganteus' plant i just bought?

  • dereks

    Noki, I will answer most of your questions according to my experience with this grass. The second year the grass reached about 9 feet. This year is the third and it is at least 7 feet tall now if not more. I love big plants and this is a fun one to watch grow.

    There is no show with fall coloring. I think it is because the freezing weather sets in too soon.

    The bottom part of the plant does die off even with plenty of watering. This year so far it has not been so much as last year. The grass is very messy in winter. This grass is one of the first I cut down because of the mess.

    The clump spreads quickly. When I bought the plant is was only two little stems. This year (third year) the clump is 4 to 5 feet wide. The spread is slightly irregular but it is still beautiful.

  • abowman_uoguelph_ca

    Hello everyone Miscanthus x giganteus is a triploid and is sterile like banana seeds. The first posting is correct it is only propogated by rhizomes because the pollen is sterile of a true Miscanthus x giganteus. Alot of ornamental stores have miss identified this cross but it is a hybrid of Miscanthus sinensis and M. sacchariflorus. Just thought i would pass that along

  • jroot

    I have it in my garden. I have never seen ones sprouting up from seeds. It slowly spreads from the rhizomes. Mine get to be about 10 feet tall in mainly sun with late afternoon shade. They stand up fairly well in our windy garden in the winter, and make a lovely background plant as well. They also tend to come to bloom earlier than gracillimus for me, though both do bloom in our zone 5a Canada garden.

  • bosko_grower

    Can someone try to send me seed for growing this plant?
    I'd love to have it in my home and I've been looking for it for a long time.
    Please help me

  • debzz

    I'd also love to be able to find this plants seed.
    I have 5 acres and it could make a great site barrier along my fence line.
    It's woodsy in here with sun and shade and mixed.
    Clay to sand for soil.
    Humid-hot & wet at times then very dry for a while.
    I'd love to give it a try if anyone has seeds to offer they wouldnt mind parting with.
    Or tell me where to find some myself.
    North Florida

  • jcklasam

    Is there a difference between miscanthus x giganteus and miscanthus giganteus or are they one in the same? There are a lot of references online to where the names are used interchangeably and I often wondered if they where the same.

    Also, please contact me if you have RHIZOMES FOR SALE!!!! Cannot find them anywhere...

  • donn_

    They are two different names for the same grass. The accurate name is Miscanthus x giganteus. It's a hybrid of Miscanthus sacchiflorus and Miscanthus sinensis. Other AKA's include Miscanthus floridus and Miscanthus japonicus

  • beth_uk

    There is a company called Bical (www.bical.net) and although they are based in the UK they have Miscanthus X Giganteus rhizomes for sale in the U.S. You can email them on america@bical.net or through the 'reply form 2009' on their website.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Bical Homesite

  • cho5420334



    CATALOG PAGE, http://www.plantdelights.com/Catalog/Current/



    ALPHABETICAL LIST OF THEIR ITEMS, http://www.hardyplants.com/SMAP.html


    ERIANTHUS (SACCHARUM)SEED PAGE, http://www.hardyplants.com/category/Erianthus.html





  • karanann

    One reason giant miscanthus is being considered as a biofuel is because it is a naturally sterile hybrid. This is a good thing because it means we have less chance of waking up one day to discover our 'amber waves of grain' have become solid giant miscanthus. It has been researched extensively and shows many qualities which would make it a good choice as a biofuel. Reproducing only from rhizomes means it is less like to run rampant. Wow, can you imagine weeding that out of the vegetable patch.

  • matolo

    Hi all. I'm interested in large scale production of Miscanthus x giganteus in a tropical climate. Someone please tell me if there is documentation on the ecological requirements of this plant(soils, rainfall, temperature, day-time length, etc..). I will be grateful for any info.

  • donn_

    Hello Matolo,

    Google will find hundreds of M.x. giganteus resources on the web, but it appears it is more suited to temperate climates than tropical climates.

    If your plan is to grow for biomass, you may do better with more suitable crops like Maize, Sugarcane or Napier Grass.

  • johngalt987_yahoo_com

    Univ. of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana main U.S. research.
    please note
    Triploids do not produce seed. see following sites:



    the seed producing diploids are more pretty, but just not as productive from an energy farm perspective.

  • geyerwallyusa_yahoo_com

    We intend to plant the Giant Miscanthus close to a septic field. does anybody know how deep the roots go? how quick do they grow from pot to their size of 5' wide? oh, and a reliable source for purchase would be terrific! thanks a bunch!

  • donn_

    It will take at least 3 years to reach mature dimensions, and may not ever reach 5' in diameter in your zone. You are at the cold end of its hardiness range.

    Bluestem.ca, linked below, sells it, and they are experts on ornamental grasses for cold zones.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Bluestem

  • nutmeg4061

    I just found it also at SantaRosa Gardens, another company that specializes in grasses.

    Here is a link that might be useful: santarosagardens

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