Miscanthus sinensis 'Malepartus' - Malepartus Maiden Grass

An early bloomer (well before frost in our area) makes this a great choice for colder areas. With foliage of more than a meter in height and blooms at 2 meter tall, 'Malepartus' can be a strong focal point in a landscape.

Description: warm season*; clump forming
Foliage is green; blade width is 15 mm (5/8"); 125-150 cm (50-60") in height
Flowers late August until frost; 150-200 cm (60-80")

Ideal conditions: full sun or bright shade; fertile soil; needs ample water in hot, dry conditions

Zone: 5-9, possibly colder (find your zone; further info on plant hardiness)

Suggested uses: specimen, border, screen, hedge, background plant, massing, by the water, arrangements

When divide: when it shows signs of life in the spring, continuing until the new growth is about 18" tall; only in the spring (further info on dividing grasses)

When to plant or transplant: plant bare root plants only in late spring to early summer, when the soil is warm, about the same time you plant your bean or corn seeds. The roots will grow only in warm soil. Planting too early in the spring may cause the roots to rot. Similar story in the fall when the roots may not grow enough to establish before the cold and wet of winter, resulting in the demise of the plant.

When to cut back: we enjoy the foliage of Miscanthus so much that we like to leave it standing until the new growth starts to appear, possibly as late as May. We also like the combination of the tan foliage and spring bulbs. Cut back to about 6" from the crown of the plant.

Partner with: Aster, Rudbeckia, Sedum, Yucca

Season of interest: July till spring; will likely remain standing all winter

Drought tolerance rating: 3 (water to root depth once a week); further info

Native to: Miscanthus sinensis is native to marshes, slopes, mountainsides of Eastern Asia and west to Africa. It is a source for thatching material for temple roofs and homes.

Recommended spacing between plants: 60-100cm (24-40") why such a difference?

Pronunciation: Miscanthus (mis-KAN-thus) sinensis (sin-EN-sis) Malepartus (mal-PAR-tus)


*a warm season grass likes to grow in warm weather. Before it will show signs of life in the spring, the soil must warm up, and be warm for possibly as long as two weeks.

More ornamental grasses

Compare Miscanthus sinensis 'Malepartus' to our other grasses in this handy chart.


Miscanthus sinensis var. purpurascens - Flame Grass
Miscanthus sinensis 'Malepartus'
Malepartus Maiden Grass

Photo credit - Ann Gibson
Photo credit (house) - Kate Orne