Landscape Performance, Flowering, and Seed Viability of 15 Japanese Silver Grass Cultivars Grown in Northern and Southern Florida

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  • 1 Indian River Research and Education Center, 2199 South Rock Rd., Fort Pierce, FL 34945-3138
  • | 2 Department of Environmental Horticulture, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, North Florida Research and Education Center, Quincy, FL

Japanese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis) and 14 cultivars were transplanted in northern and southern Florida and evaluated for landscape performance, flowering, growth, and seed viability. All plants survived the 84-week study at both locations with the exception of `Morning Light', where 22% to 33% of the plants died. In northern and southern Florida, `Arabesque', `Adagio', `Cosmopolitan', and `Gracillimus' received the highest visual quality ratings on average throughout the entire study, yet other cultivars such as `Central Park' and `Silberfeder' performed well but had much narrower windows of peak performance. Cultivars such as `Little Kitten' and `Sarabande' performed far better in southern Florida than in northern Florida. Regardless of location, `Morning Light' and `Puenktchen' generally did not perform as well as other cultivars. In northern Florida, four consecutive months of very good to excellent flowering (75% to 100% canopy coverage) were observed for `Adagio', `Arabesque', `Cosmopolitan', `Gracillimus', `Little Kitten', `Sarabande', `Silberfeder', and `Zebrinus'. However, in southern Florida, peak flowering periods for these cultivars were delayed and generally only lasted for 1 to 2 months. On average, plants in northern Florida were larger and produced 2.8 times more flowers than plants in southern Florida. All cultivars produced viable seed with germination of viable seed ranging from 53.6% (`Cabaret') to 100% (`Gracillimus') in southern Florida, and from 49.8% (`Arabesque') to 100% (`Adagio', `Little Kitten', `Sarabande', and `Variegatus') in northern Florida.

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