T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Miscanthus nepalensis (Himalayan fairy grass)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Tribe: Andropogoneae
Genus: Miscanthus
Species: M. nepalensis
Binomial name: Miscanthus nepalensis
Synonyms: Erianthus aureus, Erianthus nepalensis, Eulalia nepalensis, Pollinia nepalensis
Common name: Himalayan fairy grass, Nepal silver grass.

Miscanthus nepalensis is a robust, erect, tufted, perennial, clump forming grass native to the Himalayas and Burma. In New Zealand it is an invasive weed forming dense infestations in sunny areas along roadsides, waste areas, forest margins and on open cliffs. It is mainly a problem in the upper half of the North Island.
It is a tall tufted perennial grass that reaches heights up to 2m. The mid green stiff leaf blades are up to 1.2m long and 1cm broad and have rough margins and a white stripe along the midrib.
The flowers of Miscanthus nepalensis are arranged in drooping, fan shaped, straw coloured >20cm long panicles on 1.8 m long stems. The flowers develops into a mass of wind-spread seeds that are up to 2.5 mm long. The seeds can also transported by tyres, shoes and on clothing. M. nepalensis develops an extensive root system which makes it hard to control.

Photo of leaf showing the distinctive white stripe along the midrib.