fall grasses japanese blood maiden grass and black mondo grass in the foreground

KotoJazz 48: Japanese Ornamental Grasses

Though there are dozens of varieties of grasses that originate from Japan, there are three primary types of Japanese ornamental grasses. These are – Hakone grasses (also known as Golden forest grass), Silver grasses, and blood grasses.

Hakone Grass:
The golden forest grass can be a bright clump of cascading yellow grasses, or it might be a more light green shade if less exposed to the sun. These are ideal foreground accents for your garden as they remain fairly low to the ground.

Silver Grass:
Silver grasses are more appropriate for mid- to back- ground locations in your garden. They likewise grow in clumps, but much taller to 3-4 feet in height. Their stalks flower feathery seeds ranging in color from pinkish red to light cream or silver.

Blood Grass:
The popular Japanese blood grass gets its name from spiky red tips of these rare ornamental grasses, creating the image of grass on fire. These don’t grow in clumps like the others, but can spread to cover fairly large areas.

A fourth grass type worth noting that is not part of the above three primary grass groups, is the stiltgrass. Japanese stiltgrass, has the appearance of mini bamboo, green and growing low to the ground as a ground cover. Like bamboo, it can be invasive.

There are a number of other grass types commonly used in Japanese gardens that fall between the grass and moss categories that are commonly used as nice area ground covers.


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