Plant of the Moment: Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’

Important update: This is NOT ‘Morning Light’, it is ‘China’!! Sorry about the mis-identification, I’d lost my planting list. Thank goodness for computers.

Apologies for slight post overload, I’d forgotten when I put my earlier post up that I had promised to join in the new blog carnival celebrating the plant of the moment, started by fer at My Little Garden In Japan. And since tomorrow is the End of Month View post day, I had to do this now! Sorry, I don’t really intend to clump my posts like this…

Acer Corner Early October

My ‘Plant of the Moment’ is Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’. Growing to a height of 1.5m, it is easier to accommodate in a relatively small space than it’s more flamboyant relative, ‘Malepartus’. Hardy to Zone 5, like most Miscanthus it prefers moisture-retaining soil but will tolerate a fair degree of shade. Its leaves start emerging in late spring, and it doesn’t flower until late summer/early autumn, but then its dark reddish-brown plumes add height and drama to the border.

Miscanthus In MorningLight #1
Miscanthus In MorningLight #2

As its name suggests, it catches the light beautifully, particularly come November when the flower heads have faded to a beautiful pale straw colour.

Beautiful Miscanthus

The flowers contrast wonderfully with other plants, here an Acer palmatum.

Shimmering-Grasses

And its not just the seedheads – the leaves provide wonderful Autumn colour.

Pond Bed Side View

It has been both individual star and perfect foil in my pond border for months now, but late October into November is the time it really shines. So, that’s my Plant of the Moment! Check out what other people have chosen over at My Little Garden In Japan!.

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23 Comments


  1. The plant is beautifully captured on camera especially against black backgroud highlighting the silvery flower heads! Aptly named Morning Light!


    1. Glad you like it! And thank you for visiting.


  2. Beautiful photos of a beautiful grass! Miscanthus is in its glory at this time of year and ‘Morning Light’ is one of the best.


    1. Thank you! I loved your maple too.


  3. Beautiful images, especially the ones of the grass in the sunshine.


    1. Thank you Jennifer, having visited your blog and seen your own photos, a great compliment!


  4. Your garden is gorgeous! I love the grass in contrast to the japanese maple – absolutely beautiful!


    1. Thank you Cat! Lovely to “see” you over here.


  5. Amazing! It truly lives up to its name.

    I love the way it glows with the sunlight. I am very sure it must be great to have in the garden. They look like little feathers swinging in the wind.

    Thank you very much for joining the carnival! Your entry is lovely. And sorry for making you rush.


    1. Thank you fer – and no apologies necessary! I just need to remember to read my own reminder notes..s


  6. Beautiful photos as always, Janet. Your choice of Miscantus Morning Light as plant of the month would be mine too. You are lucky it flowers for you. In the UK it usually remains as ‘just’ beautiful leaves and form; I was amazed by the wonderful flowers when I first grew it here in Italy.


    1. Goodness Christina, I’m glad I didn’t realise it often didn’t flower in the UK when I bought it… I cheated on the photos – they have all appeared before…


  7. Janet girl !
    This is one of my favorites too !
    I planted two on either side of my garden bench .. they are just babies now but I am so looking forward to them growing UP and giving me a place to hide ? for a few quiet moments in the garden .. LOL
    I’m very happy to see some one pick this .. well done girl !
    Joy : )


    1. Thank you Joy! Good luck finding those quiet stolen moments… At least Miscanthus grows quickly!


  8. Several years ago I tried ordering this grass, only to have the nursery supply me with Little Dot instead. While the replacement grass was okay I’ve been lusting after Morning Light ever since. Seeing your post reminded me how wonderful this grass is, maybe I’ll try buying it again next year.


    1. Hello Marguerite, thank you for stopping by and commenting. So sorry you got the wrong plant delivered, it is such a disappointment when it happens. This year I got some lurid red gladioli in place of the deep purple ones I had ordered. Eugh! But ‘Morning Light’ is well worth hunting down, it is a wonderful grass.


  9. Love the look of this entire area in your gardens… the Japanese maple is gorgeous as well! L


    1. Thank you Larry!


  10. Oooh, I just love the way grass seed heads light up in the sun. Is that Verbena bonariensis behind it? Great pair!


    1. Hi Eliza – yes it is Verbena bonariensis, I’m glad you like the combination, its one of my favourites.


  11. Love your site! I enjoy ornamental grasses-they’re a great plant to have…Even in this season, they still add a little winter interest to the garden!


    1. Hi Rebecca, thanks for visiting. I agree, grasses work really hard in the garden.


  12. I was considering planting Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’ beside a mature olive tree with a large olive jar in front of it – it should look wonderful and your photos have convinced me. I already have to large specimens of M. s. ‘Gracillimus’ which are now 1.50m x 1.50m planted in very free draining soil. I know I should probably lift and divide them in the Spring but they look so wonderful and I’ve got plenty of space that I think I will leave them be until they start opening up in the centre ….

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