Chinese silvergrass (Miscanthus sinensis)

Chinese silvergrass Common Names: Eulalia, Chinese plume grass, Zebra grass

Description: Introduced to the United States as an ornamental. Extremely flammable and increases fire risks of invaded areas.

Habit: Highly variable, robust, perennial, grows from 5-10 ft in height. Usually found in large tufts.

Leaves: Elongate, 3 ft in length and 1 in across, silver-white midrib, tips of the leaves are sharp and re-curving.

Stems: Erect, very large, vertical, densely bunched, very flexible and spread or droop.

Flowers: Fan shaped terminal panicle grows 6-24 in long and can be silvery to pale pink in color. Branches of the panicle are erect or ascending and reach full maturity in the fall. Glabrous spikelets are very small, yellow brown in color and encircled at the base with white or purple colored hairs. The fertile lemma contains an awn that is spirally twisted at its base.

Fruit and seeds: Seeds produced are dispersed mechanically or through wind.

Habitat: Native to China, Japan and Korea. Found in forest margins, along roadsides, and disturbed sites.

Reproduction: Vegetatively through rhizomes and by seeds dispersed mechanically or by the wind.

Similar species: Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) due to its large size. Sugarcane plumeless (Saccharum giganteum) due to its large plume and arching leaves.

Monitoring and rapid response: Digging out plants will probably result in resprouts and would need follow-up treatments. Similarly, disking and cutting methods may spread rhizome pieces into clean areas. Effectively controlled using any of several readily available general use herbicides such as glyphosate or imazapyr.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the U.S. Forest Service.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

Chinese silvergrass

Scientific Name:

Miscanthus sinensis







USDA Symbol: