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Miscanthus (Elefantgrass)

Written by Reinhard Sperr on Gennaio 22, 2018 in Glossario

Miscanthus – Elefantgrass

In the opinion of some people, elephant grass is a misguided notion, but it has been established in agriculture for Miscanthus x giganteus. However, Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum), the “real” elephant grass that is cultivated mainly in Africa, has nothing to do with this species.

When we speak about elephant grass that has been cultivated in Europe for some time now as extensive energy plant for producing alternate biomass, such as wood alternative, horse litters, insulation, etc., we mean a hybrid originated from Asia. There, elephant grass also produces flowers and can be propagated by seeds. In our latitudes (Europe), this plant is practically always propagated by division or via root sticks (rhizomes). A one-two-year old root stock is excavated in spring, before sprouting, and divided into separate parts. The rhizomes obtained in such a manner can then be planted onto the field again and, subsequently, form up-to-one-meter-long stocks. Here you can also buy elephant grass.

Further, due to its imposing appearance, elephant grass is used in the modern garden design as a hedgegrow and as a solitaire grass.

For more information on elephant grass in garden design, please visit:

© - Reinhard Sperr (2008 – 2017)