Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra) is an ornamental grass that is treasured for its preference of shade. While many ornamental grasses crave the full sun of the prairie, this grass requires part or full shade to thrive. In return for a shady spot and consistently moist (but not soggy) soil, it provides a much needed textural contrast to chunkier shade perennials like hostas.
Forest grass can also bring bright color to the shade garden, in the form of several named varieties. Here are our favorites:
Hakonechloa macra ‘Fubuki’—this variety has bright white stripes along its foliage. Read more here.
Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’—pictured—this Japanese forest grass really lightens up the shade garden with its solid chartreuse leaves.
Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’—this one is similar to ‘Fubuki’ in that it bears skinny stripes, but in this case the stripes are green and yellow.
Image courtesy of Walters Gardens