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You don’t have to be a morning person to appreciate Morning Light Maiden Grass. This lovable Fringe is appealing at all times of day. It has a soft appearance, growing into a rounded, fountain-shaped clump of thickly set, fine foliage. Each slim green leaf is marked with a central white stripe and is bordered by a white margin on both edges, so that the overall effect is a refreshing, cool, pastel green. Every little breeze tousles the delicate foliage, adding to the feeling of softness and lightness. Feathery white plumes complete the look, and whether you view them in the light of morning or with the setting sun, they’ll catch the sunlight in a way that will enchant you!
Maiden Grass is an essential element of Asian gardens, being native to Japan, China, Korea, and Taiwan. The Japanese in particular have been cultivating different forms of it for ages. Morning Light Maiden Grass has been cherished in Japanese gardens for well over 100 years. It wasn’t known in this country until representatives of the U.S. National Arboretum, John Creech and Sylvester “Skip” March, travelled to Japan in the 1970s and brought back samples. The late Kurt Bluemel, Maryland nurseryman and “King of Grasses,” gave this new-to-us Fringe its English name.
Morning Light Maiden Grass is an extremely late-blooming Fringe, sending up its fluffy “flowers” in early fall, about a week after Gracillimus Maiden Grass. This means it goes into winter with brand new plumes that retain their fresh and full appearance throughout most of the winter season. If you’re looking for eye-appeal during the cold months as well as during the growing season, Morning Light is the Fringe for you.
How to Grow
Unlike most other Maiden Grasses, Morning Light can handle light shade, although flowering will be heaviest in full sun. Provide it with regular water throughout the growing season. Morning Light thrives in a variety of soil types. It also makes a handsome container plant for a large decorative pot or planter box. In late winter, cut back all old growth to within several inches of the ground using manual or electric hedge trimmers or a bow saw. You can tie the stalks up with twine first to make clean up easier. Fresh new growth will emerge when the weather turns warm.
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