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Japanese forestgrass

Hakonechloa macra

Japanese forestgrass

The elegant, sweeping lines of this grass are so lovely that it's a favorite among gardeners. And Japanese forestgrass is one of only a few ornamental grasses that thrive in shade. Its mounding clumps of arching, grassy leaves gradually increase in size, never becoming invasive. Variegated cultivars are particularly attractive. All thrive in moisture-retaining, humus-rich soil and even tolerate dry conditions.

Part Sun,Shade
Plant Type:
Plant Height:
12-14 inches tall
Plant Width:
12-16 inches wide
Landscape Uses:
Containers,Beds & Borders,Slopes,Groundcover
Special Features:
Attractive Foliage,Fall Color,Drought Tolerant,Tolerates Wet Soil,Deer Resistant,Easy to Grow
Top Varieties

Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' is the best cultivar to brighten gently shaded places in the garden. Its lovely golden-yellow leaves are striped with green and arch gracefully toward the light. Zones 5-9
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Plant It With

Bold hosta leaves, variegated or solid, provide a striking counterpoint to the grassy foliage of Japanese forestgrass. They enjoy similar conditions.

Holly fern

The foliage contrast between upright Christmas fern and graceful Japanese forestgrass, especially the variegated cultivars, is most appealing.


Spring-blooming columbines in flower above mounds of Japanese forestgrass bring color and interest to a shady site. Columbine foliage contrasts well with the grass.