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The WOW factor. Aureola Japanese Forest Grass has it! This Fringe may not be of grand proportions, and it doesn’t have over-the-top plumes or even a winter presence, but it really packs a punch. Its bright green and canary yellow–variegated foliage is more yellow than green, and it sings in partly shaded sites. That’s right—this is one of the few Fringes that actually prefers some shade. Aureola’s Bamboo-like foliage seems to flow like a wave, and it looks especially striking swirling around boulders or hugging the contours of a rugged slope. It also makes a choice container specimen.
- Hardiness Zone: 5-9
- Exposure: Part Shade
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Japanese Forest Grass is—you guessed it—native to the woodlands of Japan. Specifically, it is found in cool, moist mountain and forest regions on the main island of Honshu. The Japanese have long enjoyed this Fringe in the garden, primarily using it as a potted plant. The colorful selection known as Aureola is relatively new (at least to the U.S.), having arrived on our shores in the mid-1990s. Landscape designers and homeowners alike quickly fell in love with it. Now it’s hard to imagine that a shade garden is complete without it!
When fall comes and you start to feel a chill in the air, Aureola Japanese Forest Grass feels it, too. That’s when its leaves begin to take on warm, rosy pink tones. The color transformation can be quite dramatic—as if this colorful Fringe wasn’t showy enough already!
How to Grow
In most cases, Aureola Japanese Forest Grass is happiest in part shade. It definitely wants some shade in hot summer areas, and it tolerates full sun in cool northern and maritime climates. It appreciates regular irrigation, but needs good drainage. If kept too dry, growth will be stunted. Even under the best circumstances, Aureola is a rather slow grower. In late winter, cut all old growth back to the ground with hand pruners or hedge trimmers to make way for fresh new growth in spring. Pests and diseases are rarely of any concern with this Fringe, and deer usually leave it alone.
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